On the same day the Red Bulls announced the signings of Macoumba Kandji and Terry Boss, the club could add a third player to the field depending on some paperwork with MLS and an agreement from a USL-2 club.
The Red Bulls have made a bid for winger/forward Matt Mbuta of Crystal Palace Baltimore and have agreed to a small fee for the player, but are still awaiting an okay from MLS on the deal, Red Bulls sporting director Jef Agoos said in a conference call on Monday evening. The Red Bulls have completed their obligations to meet the league’s 5pm ET deadline but must now wait for word on whether Crystal Palace Baltimore has accepted the offer and whether MLS has approved the deal. The deal could still fall through, but the Red Bulls have done their part to make it happen.
If the deal is completed by the league, Mbuta would join the Red Bulls as a developmental player.
The Red Bulls would have to release a player to make room for Mbuta and it remains unclear which player the club would part with, although goalkeeper Caleb Patterson-Sewell appears to be the most likely candidate after the Red Bulls added Boss, giving the team four goalkeepers on the roster. Forward Chris Megaloudis is an other player who could be waived to make room for Mbuta.
Mbuta was one of Crystal Palace Baltimore’s standout players in the team’s 2-0 U.S. Open Cup victory against the Red Bulls on July 1. A speedy winger who can also play as a second forward, Mbuta is a 22-year-old Cameroonian speedster who would give the team some sorely-needed depth and athleticism on the right flank, where the club has needed a back-up to Jamaican winger Dane Richards.
What I can say about Mbuta having seen him against the Red Bulls in the U.S. Open Cup is that he is a speedy and shifty player who, much like Richards, can stretch a defense with his pace. With Richards a possibility to be called in to the Jamaican national team set-up next month, Mbuta could get the call to start, or at least see some minutes, down the stretch.