In mid-January a "mystery trialist" showed up in the New York Red Bulls' preseason camp. He played at centerback for the team in a scrimmage as well. Around the same time reports of Cheik M'baye joining the Red Bulls surfaced.
Senegal U20 international, Cheikh Mbaye, in camp with #RBNY. Believed to be the "trialist" from today's scrimmage https://t.co/IOKQNkbkdh— Jake Evans (@JEvans137) January 28, 2016
Could that just have been a coincidence? Completely.
However, what is known is that M'baye has stuck around since then, impressing coaches and players in the process. Much like Vincent Bezecourt, as the first team roster began to solidify at the end of preseason, M'baye was a trialist who found himself on the outside looking in. Yet, his play and potential clearly impressed the New York front office as reports of a contract offer on the table emerged. M'baye joined the USL squad as a preseason trialist, and today became the second person to be signed out of that group, following Vincent Bezecourt.
Upon signing with NYRBII, head coach John Wolyneic commented, "Cheikh is a guy that brings size, athleticism and an ability to pass out of the back." Adding, "He's been with us for a good portion of preseason and with the first team for a while - he's a young player that we see high potential in and that's what Red Bulls II is about."
Prior to joining New York, M'baye played for FC Girondins de Bordeaux's second team, arriving in 2014 from Diambars FC in the Senegalian First Division. There he made only seven appearances over a year and a half there, with rumors of his exit emerging soon after he arrived.
M'baye becomes the tenth player on New York Red Bulls II's roster and the fourth centerback (Long, Plewa, Schmoll). M'baye will face stiff competition for his spot in the lineup, as in addition to the NYRBII centerbacks, Tyler Adams, Karl Ouimette, and Zach Carroll of the first team and Mason Deeds, an academy player, are likely to feature there for NYRBII this season.