Bethlehem Steel FC announced today that club has acquired Cameroonian defender Olivier Mbaizo ahead of the 2018 season. Mbaizo arrives from Rainbow FC in Cameroon and will occupy an international spot, pending league and federation approval.
“Olivier is an exciting addition for us,” Bethlehem Steel FC head coach Brendan Burke said. “We are looking forward to welcoming another quality young defender to our group, especially one with extensive youth international experience.”
Mbaizo arrives in the United States from his native Cameroon where he played for Rainbow FC and Union Douala. Last season with Rainbow FC, Mbaizo made 10 appearances as a defender and registered four assists. Prior to joining the club, the 20-year-old played with Union Douala of the MTN Elite One League in Cameroon. While with the club, he started in Douala’s two matches in 2016 CAF-Champions League, where the club fell on aggregate to Egyptian Premier League side Zamalek SC. Mbaizo helped the club to 12 shutouts during the 34-match regular season and guided the club to a fourth-place finish in the table.
Primarily a right back, Mbaizo has worked his way up the Cameroonian national team ladder starting with the U17s in 2014 and most recently earning a call-up for training with the senior team. Last year, he appeared with Cameroon’s U-20’s for the 2017 Africa U-20 Cup of Nations. He started all three matches and played every minute of the team’s Group Stage. Mbaizo scored a goal in their second match of the tournament, a 4-1 victory over Sudan on March 2, 2017.
Steel FC will start its third season in the United Soccer League on Sunday, March 18, when the club hosts the Richmond Kickers. Kickoff from Lehigh University’s Goodman Stadium is scheduled for 2 p.m.
TRANSACTION: Bethlehem Steel FC acquires defender Olivier Mbaizo from Rainbow FC on January 22, 2018.
Name: Olivier Mbaizo (O-liv-ee-ay Bye-zoh)
Born: August 15, 1997
Previous Experience: Rainbow FC (2017), Union Douala (2016)
Acquired: Bethlehem Steel FC acquires defender Olivier Mbaizo from Rainbow FC on January 22, 2018.