Oakland Roots have confirmed that they have transferred Ariel Mbumba to Columbus Crew 2 of MLS Next Pro.
“Ariel was a young player we saw a lot of potential in here locally,” said Technical Director Jordan Ferrell, via the team’s official site. “One of the goals of the Club is to help nurture and bring young, local, high-potential talent into our professional environment. Ariel is an example of a young player taking advantage of the opportunity to grow exponentially with our first team, leading to this new challenge for himself with Columbus.”
The blog has learned from a source with knowledge of the situation that the Oakland Roots are transferring Ariel Mbumba to Columbus Crew 2 of MLS Next Pro. Assuming all goes as planned with his physical, it will end Mbumba’s time in Oakland. Roots, meanwhile, were unable to provide a comment.
This marks the second outgoing move for Roots in the past two weeks with midfielder Wolfgang Prentice being loaned to USL League One’s Northern Colorado Hailstorm FC on July 28.
It became clear that Mbumba wasn’t a part of coach Juan Guerra’s plans going forward after converting positions from winger last season to wingback in 2022, making one appearance for just one minute of play. He commented on his move in Max Ornstil’s podcast.
“That’s what’s on the paper, I’m an outside back right now… Coming in, I was told–even before preseason–that I’d be moving to an outside back. It was definitely different, it shifted my mindset because it’s not a position I’m used to playing. I’ve never been a defender… It’s definitely been a learning opportunity,” said Mbumba. “This season has been very different in terms of my minutes played. Last season, it was like 1,600 minutes the whole season and this year, I don’t think I have one. It’s been hard, you know, what I’ve really learned makes a difference is my mentality and trying to have my head on straight regardless of what I’m going through personally. If I’m not mentally right or ready, and the team does need me to hop in, I would just hurt our team. For me, it’s just trying to be mentally prepared and not checking out because things are different. I’m just trying to be involved and be ready, really, I think that’s the difference.”
Oakland’s wingback role is obviously led by Edgardo Rito and Juan Carlos Azocar. Behind them, Roots will push through the rest of the season with Memo Diaz and Lorenzo Hernandez (who was admitted to San Diego State in the near future), while Darek Formella also got time at the position against Atlanta United II when the squad was without Rito and Azocar.
Mbumba, 20, signed on with Oakland in 2020 during its NISA campaign out of De Anza Force, which marked his professional debut in the sport. He spent 2018 with the Portland Timbers development academy, 2015-2018 with Silicon Valley SA, and 2015 with the San Jose Earthquakes’ U14 academy.
In 2021, Mbumba appeared in 29 matches and made 19 starts, recording four goals with 14 shots, five on target, created eight chances, 17 successful dribbles, won 12 tackles, seven clearances, 12 interceptions and played in 1,403 total minutes.
We at the blog wish Ariel all the best of luck.