Former N.C. Wesleyan men’s soccer player Baboucarr Nije had just began his professional soccer career when the season came to a halt.

The Bishops midfielder signed in January with Atlanta United 2, the reserve team of Major League Soccer club Atlanta United FC.

United 2 lost, 1-0, on March 8 to Charleston Battery. It was the first and only game of the season for the club which plays in the USL Championship, a professional league one step below MLS.

“Baboucarr is a well-rounded midfielder that suits our style of play,” United 2 head coach Stephen Glass said after the signing. “He is sound defensively and has the ability to get forward and score goals, as his record in college shows. Baboucarr impressed us at our showcase and we’re pleased to add him to our group.”

Nije, born in The Gambia, in played at NCWC for three seasons. In 2019 he was named the USA South Conference player of the year, while also garnering a selection as a Division III following a season where he scored 15 goals and seven assists.

The Bishops owned a 12-1 conference record and won the East Division title. Nije recorded 34 goals and 19 assists in his Bishops career.

In 2018 he played for North Carolina FC’s U-23 squad in the Premier Development League, before returning to NCWC for his junior season in the fall of 2019.

Njie helped lead the Bishops to a conference tournament title and advanced to nationals for the first time since 2017, finishing with a 16-3-2 overall record.