The Red Bulls filled another hole to retool the backline for the upcoming 2020 season. After transferring out Michael Murillo to Belgium side Anderlecht, the club brought over 22-year-old Englishman Mandela Egbo from 2. Bundesliga side SV Darmstadt 98.
“Mandela was identified through our scouting network as an outside back with a great pedigree and qualities that translate well to our style of play,” said Sporting Director Denis Hamlett. “He’s young but has a ton of professional games, and has spent time developing with big clubs in Europe. In speaking with Mandela we know he is excited and ready for an opportunity in MLS. We look forward to getting him into camp and getting him up to speed.”
The London native began in the Crystal Palace academy in 2015 at the age of 17. He became a regular player for German side Borussia Monchengladbach II in 84 appearances over four seasons, converting thee goals with five assists and being apart of 31 clean sheets.
He made his debut with Gladbach’s senior team in February of 2018 as he made his debut as a sub in a 1-0 victory over Hannover 96. He was also an England youth national at the U-18 level where he helped his country won the UEFA U-17 Championship back in 2014
“I was able to watch Mandela play in person on my recent trip to Germany, and saw firsthand his quality and how he will fit into our philosophy,” said head coach Chris Armas. “In meeting him and getting to know him, it’s clear that he is a bright, driven young man that will fit well within our culture and our locker room.”
Egbo is going to be fighting for that right full-back position along with Kyle Duncan and Rece Buckmaster, as you hope Chris Armas won’t tinker with backline too much. But it’s going to be very interesting to see what will happen since the club transferred out Murillo.
When Murillo was still with the Red Bulls, the backline was one of the best in the league. Along with Kemar Lawrence on the left and the big tough central defenders in Aaron Long and Tim Parker, but now it looks like we might have some auditions in this pre-season and see who will step up and grab the starting role.
We will have to see what will happen now when you have three players who know their tendencies very well, to try and mesh with a brand new right-sided defender, or will it be one of the two that have been with the club for the last two seasons.