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Philadelphia Union, Olivier Mbaizo agree to multi-year contract extension



The Philadelphia Union and right back Olivier Mbaizo have agreed to a multi-year contract extension, the club announced Tuesday.

Mbaizo, 24, has been an integral part of the Union's season, starting 18 of their 19 MLS matches thus far. The marauding right back originally signed with the club in 2018 but spent most of his first two years with the club's USL affiliate. He started 12 of the team's 23 matches in 2020.

“When we signed Olivier, we knew he had the tools to become a top defender in this league and he has emerged as such,” sporting director Ernst Tanner said in a club statement. “Our system requires fullbacks to contribute in the attack, defense, and transition and Olivier’s quickness and competitiveness make him a perfect fit for such a role. His continued growth and dedication made this a well-earned contract extension."

Mbaizo earned an increased role in Philadelphia as the years went by, but a surprising offseason retirement by Ray Gaddis, the Union's all-time leader in matches played, opened a bigger first-team spot.

He has four caps with Cameroon's national team.

The Union sit fifth in the Eastern Conference standings after 19 matches played and are still alive in the Concacaf Champions League, in the semifinals against Club America.