Rapids Acquire Moroccan Midfielder Mehdi Ballouchy from Real Salt Lake

Commerce City Colorado (Monday July 16 2007) – The Colorado Rapids today completed a trade with Real Salt Lake acquiring attacking midfielder Mehdi Ballouchy in exchange for Kyle Beckerman.

"The Rapids are excited to add another attacking option to the team in Mehdi Ballouchy said Rapids Coach Fernando Clavijo. "He will bring a youthful creativity to Dick’s SportingGoodsPark."
(To view Ballouchy's online bio page click here).

Ballouchy was the second overall pick in the 2006 MLS SuperDraft out of Santa ClaraUniversity. The former Colorado Rapids U-23 player has scored two goals and recorded two assists for SaltLake while playing in 46 games (40 starts).

Ballouchy also spent his junior year of high school at Conor Casey’s alma mater SouthHigh School in Denver. The move also allows Ballouchy to live with his wife who is a Denver resident and has a full time career here in the MileHighCity.

Beckerman came to the Rapids in the 2002 Dispersal Draft from the now-defunct Fusion FC. In his five and a half seasons on the Front Range Beckerman has gone from an occasional starter to Rapids Golden Boot winner and US National Team member.

Unfortunately for the Crofton Maryland product he has always been playing in the shadow of one of MLS's best all-time holding midfielders Pablo Mastroeni. This trade allows Beckerman to grow on his own and the Rapids to acquire a creative attacking midfielder.

"We are very sad to part with an outstanding player and outstanding human being in Kyle but that was the price required to acquire one of the most valuable assets in MLS said Rapids General Manager Charlie Wright.