What started off as a day expecting FC Cincinnati to steal all headlines with next season’s Expansion Draft, quickly turned into a frenzy of trades by other MLS teams.
Ndam heads to FC Cincinnati
FCC manager, Alan Koch joined Andrew Wiebe, Bobby Warshaw and the MLS gang to share the names of the five players chosen by the team during the draft.
The New York Red Bulls looked like they were in the clear until they announced the final pick. Koch selected Cameroon international Hassan Ndam, leaving the club effective immediately.
My peers at the Red Bulls News Network already shared a bit about Ndam’s time with RBNY and NYRBII. He also spent time with the U-17, U-20 Cameroon national teams. Most recently, Ndam earned his first U-23 call-up in November for the U-23 Africa Cup of Nations, which is the qualifier for the Olympics.
He was a second half substitute in the first leg against Chad, where the team won 3-0. Cameroon will face Sierra Leone in a March 2019 two-legged series second round matchup. Ndam has yet to feature for Cameroon’s senior side.
Tarek traded to the Red Bulls
Once the pick occurred, the Red Bulls were left with only one center back on their roster, Aaron Long, as they continue contract negotiations with Tim Parker. That statistic only lasted 95 minutes as the Red Bulls announced they had signed Orlando City LB/CB Amro Tarek, an Egyptian international.
Tarek’s club career took him through four countries in eight years, but his international duties have been just as intriguing. Born in Los Angeles, Tarek was eligible for both Egypt and the United States national teams. He never appeared for the U-20’s or U-23’s, but then-coach Andi Herzog had his eye on Tarek leading up to the 2016 Olympic qualifying campaign. Ultimately, Tarek decided to play for Egypt, making one appearance for the U-20 side.
Tarek earned his first senior team in March 2017 and made his debut as a substitute in a 3-0 victory against Togo, playing 18 minutes. He wouldn’t don a Pharaohs jersey for another 14 months. Tarek participated in national team camp for friendlies against Kuwait and Colombia, but remained on the bench for each match.
His stock is rising with coach Javier Aguirre. Tarek earned calls to the last three camps. He earned his first start and played 67 minutes in a 4-1 Africa Cup of Nations qualification victory against Swaziland.
With one match left to play in March against Niger, Egypt has already qualified for the main AFCON tournament, starting June 15. The 7-time Cup champions look to secure their first title since 2010.