Crystal Palace Baltimore have signed 24-year old playmaker Mathew Mbuta, pending USSF approval.
The former New York Red Bulls player returns to Palace after plying his trade in Major League Soccer for the past year and a half.
Palace Baltimore President and Co-Head Coach, Pete Medd, remarked: "We feel very fortunate to get Mathew back. He is a very special player and has unique and dangerous qualities; things you can not teach. He has tremendous pace and a great leaping ability. During the 18 months he spent in the MLS, he has refined his game even further and we will continue to work on his end product; but we feel he should have a major impact in our league this year.”
Medd went on to say: ''It is great to have Mathew back in the club house. He is a great personality to have around and the joy with which he plays the game rubs off on other players. He is extremely hungry to prove he is one of the top players in the U.S. second division."
Mbuta joined the New York club in September 2008 and scored only four minutes into his debut in a 5-4 defeat to the Colorado Rapids. The speedy winger went on to make a total of 12 appearances and scored three goals. He will go down in Red Bulls history as the last ever goal scorer at Giants Stadium before their move to Red Bull Arena.
The former Cameroon Under-23 international came to the United States in 2007 after playing in the Malaysian Super League for Brunei DPMM. Following an impressive season in Malaysia, Mbuta, 5' 9", had trials at Arsenal and West Ham United of the English Premier League before signing for Crystal Palace Baltimore in 2007. In his first season he was named to the USL-2 All-League First-Team after scoring five goals and recording seven assists in 16 games. In his second season in Baltimore, he was named to the USL-2 All-League Second Team and was instrumental in Palace's historic upset of the Red Bulls in the fifth round of the US Open Cup, a performance that prompted the MLS outfit to pay a rare transfer fee to secure his services.