Commerce City, Colo. – The Rapids may have one of the most potent forward combinations in MLS with Conor Casey and Omar Cummings, who have each scored nine goals season. Even so, the club on Tuesday looked to strengthen the attack by acquiring 25-year-old forward Macoumba Kandji from the New York Red Bulls in exchange for midfielder Mehdi Ballouchy.
The Senegalese-born Kandji joined New York on loan from the Atlanta Silverbacks of USL-1 on September 15, 2008. New York then bought his rights and signed him permanently prior to the 2009 season. Since joining the Red Bulls, he has started 30 of the 41 games in which he’s appeared, scoring six goals and adding seven assists.
Born in Dakar, Senegal, Kandji was raised in The Gambia and came to the United States in 2003. The 6’4 forward went to high school in North Carolina and attended Georgia Military College before joining the Silverback’s amateur team.
Since he was granted asylum status in 2009, he does not count as an international player on the team’s roster. He is in the process of finalizing his U.S. residency (green card).
Last week, he Kandji told MLSsoccer.com that both Gambia, where his mother is from, and Senegal, his father’s country, have invited him to join their respective national teams. Kandji told the website that he has not yet decided which country to represent.
Ballouchy was acquired by the Rapids in a trade with Real Salt Lake on July 16, 2007. With Colorado, Ballouchy scored 7 goals and added 18 assists in 77 games. He started 19 of the 21 games in which he appeared this season, scoring a career-high three goals with five assists.
The MLS Roster Freeze date is on September 15, at which point teams may not make any additions to their rosters until after MLS Cup.