Minnesota United sign Cameroon international defender Bertrand Owundi Eko’o


Minnesota United FC are dipping back into the Cameroon well.

A month after signing attacker Frantz Pangop, MNUFC bolstered its defense Tuesday with the acquisition of Cameroon international defender Bertrand Owundi Eko’o on a free transfer from Rainbow FC.

The 24-year-old Owundi — who will occupy an international roster spot and will join the Loons pending receipt of his P1 Visa and ITC — is a left-sided defender who the Loons hope to develop into an imposing MLS presence at 6-foot-2.

“The thing we’ve tried to do this offseason is bring in some younger players who we feel have a chance of progressing and being big pieces for us moving forward,” MNUFC head coach Adrian Heath said in a statement. “For what we’ve got these kids for salary-wise, what we’ve had to give up, we think we’ve done really well. We’re excited about what we’ve got with him and Pangop. We felt it wasn’t a gamble, but an opportunity to bring in two young pieces for not a lot of financial output that we think have got huge upside.”

A small Cameroonian club, Rainbow FC has served as a gateway to MLS for other players, including former Montreal Impact defender Ambroise Oyongo, Eric Ayuk of the Philadelphia Union and the Seattle SoundersNouhou Tolo.

“As we continue to build on the core of our roster for the future we have added another great young man to the group,” sporting director Manny Lagos said. “Owundi is a strong and powerful player with great athleticism who reads the game incredibly well. As a player with Cameroonian national team experience under his belt, we feel he has a lot of potential and can develop into a high-level defender in MLS.”

MLS Fantasy Impact: You can add Owundi ($4.5) to your team on Wednesday. Start playing!

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