Maryland Bobcats FC have signed the first five players to the 2021 roster that will be competing in the first professional season in club history. The players signed are Kay Banjo, Richard Forka, Elton Joe, Tunde Akinlosotu, and Davey Mason.
More on each player below:
F Kay Banjo is first professional signing in club history.
Maryland native, he played at Towson Tigers & UMBC Athletics before being drafted by Vancouver Whitecaps FC. Bringing goal-scoring experience while at Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC, Banjo will lead the the front line looking to put the ball in the back of the net.
"Kay is one of the players that believed in the project from the get go. When he came back from playing for the Riverhounds, we had a conversation about where we saw the club going, pitched the idea, and how we thought he could be a big part of growing the club," Jide Saba, Club President said. "He bought into the idea and project and gave up his USL Championship playing status to help build the club with the hope of bringing us pro. He sacrificed his pro contract to help the club, and now he’s being rewarded."
Forka is the second player signed to the club's first professional roster. Besides being a rock in the back, he will also serve as the club's Vice Captain.
Prior to being a part of the club for the past 2 years, Forka played at McDaniel College/McDaniel Athletics for 4 years, captaining them for 2. He played for the Philadelphia Fury from 2017 to 2019 and was on trial with La Nucia in Spain's 3rd Division before joining the Bobcats in 2019.
Prior to playing for the Bobcats starting in 2018, Joe played at CCBC Essex Athletics where he was an All American First Team member before transferring to Wilmington University where he again made the All American First Team.
Joe has already scored a lot of important goals in Bobcat history, none perhaps more important than the two he scored in the UPSL National Final, ultimately firing us to the trophy. He was named National Final MVP and we're excited to see him continue to put the ball in the back of the net in NISA.
Yet another Maryland product, Akinlosotu played youth soccer for Baltimore Celtic Soccer Club, winning the boys Under-16 US Youth Soccer National Championship. He scored one of the goals in the final against OP Eagles Green of Ohio. Akinlosotu also played in high school for the perennial powerhouse the McDonogh School.
Akinlosotu attended local school George Mason University from 2016 - 2019, captaining the team his senior season. His season season, he led George Mason in assists (5), points (13) and game-winning goals (2), while his four goals tied for first on the team. In his Patriots career, he notched 13 goals and 12 assists.
Akinlosotu most recently played with Tormenta FC, making his professional debut last September.
Tunde is another fantastic Maryland product that signs for the club's first professional season and will look to make an immediate impact on the front line.
Mason is a Bethesda, Maryland native who excelled locally in both high school and college. At Walt Whitman High School, he won a state championship as well as the Gazette Player of the Year for Montgomery County. He earned NSCAA Fall High School All-Mid-Atlantic honors as a junior and was included on All-America Watch List for two-straight seasons. He also brought home All-Met First Team, first-team all-state, and All-South Region awards for Whitman.
After high school, Mason spent his freshman and sophomore seasons at Georgetown University playing for the Hoyas before transferring to Loyola University where he started all 36 games he was eligible to for the Greyhounds. In his two years at Loyola, Mason earned United Soccer Coaches All-Atlantic Region Third Team honors (2019), was a two-time All-Patriot League Second Team selection ('18, '19), a two-time Patriot League All-Tournament Team selection ('18, '19), and three-time Patriot League Defensive Player of the Week pick (1x: '18, 2x: '19).
Mason also played with the Bobcats last Fall, starting against Chattanooga FC and helping to secure the shutout. He adds pace and lockdown defending to our backline and looks to make sure opponents get as few opportunities as possible.
Join us in welcoming all the players to the club!
*pending NISA - National Independent Soccer Association and USSF approval