The lengthy quest by the New York Red Bulls to land Atlanta Silverbacks striker Macoumba Kandji has finally ended, with the club acquiring Kandji on loan, with an option to buy the Senegalese striker after the 2008 season.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed but sources have put the option to buy Kandji at between $150,000 and $200,000, which would be a record for a USL player moving to MLS.
Kandji passed a physical on Monday afternoon after agreeing to terms in the morning on the contract he will play under if the Red Bulls buy his rights. Kandji is expected to join the Red Bulls at training on Tuesday and will be available for selection for Thursday night’s game at Columbus.
“We’re pleased to sign Mac,” Red Bulls sporting director Jeff Agoos said. “We think that his athleticism and his ability to score goals will make him an immediate contributor to our team as we make a push into the playoffs.”
Kandji scored his final goal for the Silverbacks on Saturday, in a 1-1 tie vs. the Seattle Sounders in Seattle.
A 6-foot-4 striker with good speed and an impressive assortment of one-on-one moves, Kandji is among the top strikers in the USL First Division, compiling 11 goals for the Silverbacks. He is expected to challenge for a starting forward role alongside Colombian star striker Juan Pablo Angel.
The Red Bulls targeted Kandji during the summer, but went through a lengthy negotiations with Atlanta, a process that halted two weeks ago and appeared in danger of falling apart. The sides resumed negotiations last week and the clubs reached an agreement on a loan deal with an option to buy on Friday. Once Kandji agreed to terms on the contract he will play under if the Red Bulls choose to buy him after the 2008 season, the loan deal was completed.
It’s poll time:
What do you think of the move? Is Kandji a good fit alongside Angel? Do you think he will make a smooth transition from the USL-First Division to MLS? Could the Red Bulls be a darkhorse contender for MLS Cup?
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