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The New York Red Bulls have completed the acquisition of Crystal Palace Baltimore midfielder/forward Matthew Mbuta, sources with knowledge of the deal confirmed late on Monday.
MLS gave final approval of the acquisition Friday evening, a deal that include a small fee paid to Crystal Palace, which held Mbuta’s rights. Mbuta has been training with the Red Bulls for two weeks and is expected to be available for the team’s Thursday night game at Columbus.
Mbuta became the third of three players acquired by the Red Bulls on Monday. The Red Bulls also added Atlanta Silverbacks striker Macoumba Kandji and Charlotte Eagles goalkeeper Terry Boss. The Red Bulls released Chris Megaloudis to make room for Mbuta on the roster.
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.
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