The Revolution tapped into Spain’s La Liga for their latest signing, Cameroonian midfielder Wilfrid Jaures Kaptoum.
Kaptoum, 24, spent most of his career with Barcelona’s B team, making three first team appearances with Barcelona’s first team in 2015-16. A knee injury halted his progress and since 2018, Kaptoum has been playing for Real Betis and UD Almeria.
Kaptoum had been in the Almeria starting lineup until just before play was suspended because of the pandemic in March. He is last listed in the lineup for a game against Las Palmas on June 17.
Revolution sporting director/head coach Bruce Arena has been making progress toward reinforcing the roster since the team concluded the season with a loss in the Eastern Conference finals early this month. The Revolution announced the addition of Colombian left back Christian Mafla on Monday and Kaptoum on Wednesday.
Kaptoum was born in Douala and was with the Samuel Eto’o School before joining Barcelona’s La Masia academy at age 11. He started alongside Munir El Haddadi (now with Sevilla) and Adama Traore (Wolverhampton) on Barcelona’s U-19 European championship team in 2014.
With the new year comes a new professional and amazing challenge😊 ⚽️— Wilfrid Kaptoum (@Kaptoum5) December 23, 2020
Thank you @NERevolution for this opportunity to meet @MLS 🇺🇸 and your supporters @MidnightRiders @NErebellion 😉
See you soon #Boston 👋🏿 I’m ready!Come on Revs!! ⚽️💪🏿 https://t.co/Nw6iBAFkSz
The next year, Kaptoum made his first team debut, playing for Barcelona’s 2015-16 Copa del Rey-winning team and scoring in a 1-1 tie with Valencia that extended the Blaugrana unbeaten streak to 29 games. He started in the midfield along with Lionel Messi and Ivan Rakitic in a 1-1 tie with Bayer Leverkusen in the 2015-16 Champions League.
In 2017, Kaptoum underwent meniscus surgery, according to an interview with the Spanish daily/website Sport.
“It is not an easy injury,” Kaptoum said in November. “Fortunately, in my case I did not come back and have problems in my knee. But sometimes you are cautious playing. You do not come back totally the same, it affects you a little.”
Kaptoum said the injury is “a minor thing, but it depends more on your mental strength” to recover.
After recovering from surgery, Kaptoum joined Real Betis on a free transfer, playing for the B team in 2018, then starting for the first team before sustaining another knee injury. With Real Betis, Kaptoum played in 15 games in the 2018-19 La Liga season. Last season, he played nine times for Almeria in the Segunda Division.
Kaptoum competed for Cameroon’s national team at the U-20 level and was last called into the full national team camp in October 2019.
Frank Dell'Apa can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.