Top Stories

Red Bulls deal Kandji to Rapids for Ballouchy

Mehdi Ballouchy (GettyImages)

The New York Red Bulls got a close-up look at Mehdi Ballouchy when they beat the Colorado Rapids last weekend. Apparently they liked what they saw.

The Red Bulls have traded forward Macoumba Kandji to the Rapids for Ballouchy on Tuesday.

Ballouchy has registered three goals and five assists for the Rapids this season. Kandji has endured an injury-plagued season for the Red Bulls, managing just one goal this season.

What do you think of the deal? Shocked to see Kandji traded? Think Ballouchy can be the Red Bulls' answer in the playmaker role?

Share your thoughts below.

Comments

  1. ” Colorado is in a competitive West and they got a guy with speed who can create his own chances at times. ”

    Curiously, that describes Omar Cummings, who is already 10x the player.

    Reply
  2. It’s a weird trade. Frankly, it’s a one-sided deal in the Red Bulls’ favor, but it probably doesn’t make sense for either team. The Rapids have forwards. The Bulls need Kandji more than the Rapids would. Still, the Bulls got the better player.

    Reply
  3. Until some player acquisition move turns into a complete disaster, I am giving Soler and Backe the benefit of the doubt. They (and Williams) are clearly on the same page as to what the team needs and what the coaching staff can coax out of players. So I am optimistic.

    Reply
  4. Exactly! It’s funny that everybody who has had him on their team realizes he isn’t that great and everybody that hasn’t had them on their team are excited to get him. All I can say is: good luck!

    Reply
  5. I think this is a good move for the Red Bulls, as we are heavy with strikers, and Ballouchy is a good midfielder. I really do think that this move will strenghten the squad for the play-offs.

    Reply
  6. I think this is a good trade for the Red Bulls. With Angel and Henry who they are and Lindpere and Richards playing well there was little room for Kandji. Whereas Ballouchy can put pressure on Tony Tchani as an attacking midfielder in the diamond that Hans Backe wants to play. Perhaps most importantly, Backe likes Ballouchy, which will give him an extra confidence boost.

    The Red Bulls still have Henry, Angel, Ibrahim, Chinn, Agudelo, and Chirgadze (sp) as forwards. And they will likely bring in Luke Rodgers over the off-season and probably a replacement for Ibrahim. As Ives has pointed out many times, he really isn’t good enough to keep around.

    You really have to be impressed with the way Ritchie Williams, Hans Backe and Erik Soler have acquired players from all over to build a new team so quickly.

    Its also good for Kandji. He just turned 25 and it doesn’t look like he is going to get playing time with the Red Bulls that he needs to reach his potential before he starts getting old in soccer years.

    Reply
  7. Actually, if RBNY lose Angel that frees up a DP spot. There will be plenty of decent forwards/attacking mids out there relishing a chance to play with Henry and Marquez.

    Also, I wouldn’t just discard Chinn.

    I like Kandji, but let’s not attribute some greatness to him that he hasn’t shown. He is a good player, raw and athletic, but still seems limited. I hope he gets to play in Colorado and gets better, though.

    Reply
  8. I think this is a good deal for both players. As much as I like Mac Kandji, he will now be in a better spot to get playing time (although it seemed he had a nice connection with TH14). Ballouchy will be good for feeding the RB attack. This will certainly affect Tchani’s PT, but he will be a midfielder for the future, and will gain from this extra time to develop (although he has certainly played well with Rafa).

    Good luck Mac! It was nice to meet you at the “meet the team” events.

    Reply
  9. no one was interested enough after seeing 1 or two out of season friendlies to buy him off of MLS, just wasn’t going to happen. The talk about kandji to europe was blown out of proportion, as Ives has said. He had a nice game or two and some coaches had kind words for him, he’s not neymar or anything.

    Reply
  10. I always thought Ballouchy was a good player. He was one of the players who stood out at the Rapids. And, Kandji, for all the hype, never met expectations and he’s just getting older.

    Add that to the fact that without Kandji we still have Ibrahim Salou, Conor Chinn, Giorgi Chirgadze, and John Agudelo, I think this is a good acquisition. But, I am curious about what will happen next year, if Backe is serious about getting another creative midfielder from abroad.

    I think this is a positive acquisition, but is it again messing with the dynamic of our lineup too much, too close to the playoffs and end of the regular season? I think it’s unlikely we’d win the Supporters Shield, but boy wouldn’t that be something?!

    Reply
  11. Josh, I think that Henry would be miscast in the target forward position in the 4-5-1 formation. However, he would be a great fit at Lindpere’s position in the formation you’ve outlined.

    Reply
  12. IVES: I would love to hear your take on the trade. What happens now with Ballochy, Tachani and Lindpere all fighting for minutes?

    Reply
  13. As a Rapids fan, I’m happy about the trade. He was full of potential when he was traded to the Rapids but never took his game to the next level as promised.

    He’s a good player with potential to become great so for his sake, I do hope NYRB is a better fit for him than the Rapids and RSL teams were.

    I’m just curious now to see which Rapids player is going to take his spot on the field?

    Reply
  14. I like the move. I think Kandji can still harness his potential with more playing time, and in the current setup he wasn’t going to get that at RBNY. As for Ballouchy, it’ll be interesting to see where they play him. Will he move Tchani to the bench, or will he be a super-sub kind of guy who can come in midfield or maybe spell Angel or Henry and play in the hole behind the other striker. I say start him on the bench let the competition begin…

    And I really hope this means that Aguedelo is showing enough in practice to make them comfortable to move Kandji.

    Reply
  15. Good deal for rapids because they lose Ballouchy’s dead weight, and gain a good backup forward. The NYRB didn’t play Kandji at his forward position, and maybe the rapids will getting more from Kandji than the NYRB did. Bad deal for the Red Bull’s, because if you do lose Angel, you just lost a potential starting forward. Unless of course, the Red Bulls are looking to bring in other forwards, then this deal doesn’t come out that bad for them.

    Reply
  16. This is a simple move to comprehend. Red Bulls are looking to make a run at this year’s cup and he seems to be that missing attacking option upfront. It’s that simple, money with the Red Bulls hasn’t been an issue and won’t be in the foreseeable future. WOW!!! This is gonna be fun to watch even from my perspective as a Fire fan but this is a good move.

    Reply
  17. Yes, this is definitely a good part of this trade. I’d like to see Mac develop more as a player, so this will hopefully help. I’m still hoping to see him wearing a USMNT jersey one of these days.

    Reply
  18. Mehdi Ballouchy is crazy good, but he had a rough time in Colorado…The fans really didn’t like him. He will always be the guy we traded Beckerman for. Good luck Mehdi, but it was time.

    Reply
  19. Agreed. I really think Kandji would’ve learned a lot with Henry as a mentor, especially since they spoke speak French as their native languages. I understand the move, but am sad to see Kandji go.

    Reply
  20. Balloucy never impressed me. He wasn’t the answer at RSL and it looks like he wasn’t the answer at Colorado either. I think the kid has potential but he just doesn’t seem to fit in anywhere. Maybe he’ll have better luck at NY.

    Reply
  21. Maybe they move to a 4-5-1 if Angel leaves? Have the midfield to do it:

    ———-Henry———
    Lindpere———Richards
    —–Tchani—Ballouchy—
    ——–Marqueze——–

    They should be able to control the game and thus tempo and have the two outside wingers turn it into a 4-3-3 when attacking? It’s more a European style and haven’t seen an MLS team succeed with a flowing game like that would entail.

    Reply
  22. From a practical standpoint, this makes sense for both teams. Mac wasn’t getting minutes at forward and just wasn’t effective out on the wing. But he is a talent, and I bet gets things going at colorado.

    Reply
  23. I think this is a deal where both teams were looking to make moves. Colorado is in a competitive West and they got a guy with speed who can create his own chances at times. He’s worth a flier.

    Ballouchy–I think this is his third MLS team now in a relatively young career. Impresses people with his touch and vision and potential and then it never quite works out on the field. Maybe Backe is the charm (wouldn’t surprised me–he’s bringing out the best in a lot of limited players–Dane Richards is exhibit A–letting their strengths come out and minimzing their weaknesses). Backe has complained from Day One about his team being sloppy with the ball and not always being there technically. Ballouchy is a huge upgrade. Also, if he sees Henry playing further up the field, doing more runs off the ball, than Ballouchy can fourish in that situation–think of him as a pauper’s Pirlo (okay, maybe a homeless man’s Pirlo)…good vision, good technical skills, able to hit some nice thru-balls from deep in midfield.

    But in both cases, I see this as a short-term fix, not a long-term investment. Ballouchy may still be with the Red Bulls in 2011. But with an expansion draft coming up with TWO teams this year, all of the clubs who performed well are likely to lose 2 players in the draft (simple: you play well, your players look better and are more attractice). Ballouchy is exactly the kind of player who could be attractive to an expansion team–young, not that expensive, able to build a midfield around him (assuming he shows well in his limited runout with NYRB)..

    And BTW, I think Kandji also would have been expansion bait: young, fast striker/winger with potential.

    Reply
  24. Surprising I would have much rather giving up ibara.kandji brought spark to the team ibarra was just a big body. Hope it pays off tho. Wonder whos going to get the 10 jersey now. That bein said.i think red buls are going to keep the same formation and rotate between tony and this guy. having depth is never a bad thing only now we are going to depend on our youth

    Reply
  25. There was no spot for Kandji on RBNY. He doesn’t have a position other than the positions that Henry and Angel currently occupy. OTOH, the midfield is far more open for a guy like Ballouchy’s skills, especially with Marquez leaving for international duty from time to time.

    Very impressed with the trade from RBNY’s perspective. It moved an asset that was wasting on the bench in exchange for an asset that is far more usable.

    Reply
  26. Actually, I was thinking more in terms of next year. Given Angel’s uncertain contract situation I would have thought a Henry/Kandji pairing up top would make sense. Not gonna happen now.

    Reply
  27. NOT SURPRISED! Mac will get more playing time in the rockies. He needs more games to get back to where he was. I know Mac, I played against him in college. He is quality and will bounch back. Best of luck to him.

    Reply
  28. I’ve never been impressed with Ballouchy. This should be interesting to see what he can do with the likes of Thierry Henry and Juan Pablo Angel, Joel Lindpere and Rafa Marquez. He can’t get better than that for guys to work with.

    Reply
  29. What Cindy said! I am ambivalent about this trade… At times Macoumba was terrific…but he is quite frail and often does not play smart ball. Ballouchy is a better all around player but I am not sure if this will help the Bulls or not…only time will tell I guess!

    Reply
  30. Ives: Do you think this move is more to add to the depth for RBNY for the games when Richards and Marquez are on international duty? Or will Ballouchy make his way to the starting lineup? Can we maybe see Backe going with 3 in the back (Miller, Ream, Albright) and 5 in the midfield with Marquez sitting in front of the D?

    Reply
  31. With a handful of matches left, you are expecting Angel or Henry will either need a rest or get hurt? If so, I still think this is a gamble worth taking. RBNY needs another attacking player in the midfield with some creativity. Ballouchy can do that.

    Reply
  32. I actually like this pickup. Even though I had high hopes for Kandji, he really just hasn’t performed in a while! I have always liked the attacking creativity that Ballouchy offers in the middle of the park. I am pleasantly excited about this move.

    Reply
  33. Good move for the Rapids. we needed another forward/winger.. i was never a huge fan of Ballouchy either. Kanji will fit in well here in Colorado.

    Reply
  34. I like this deal. Mac was not going to get any serious minutes anytime soon. Ballouchy has looked great every time I’ve seen him play. I guess Tchani is the odd-man out, though? Or perhaps there will be some sort of rotation with Ballochy, Tachani and Lindpere.

    Reply
  35. I always wondered what was up with Hans Backe saying “we want an attacking player like Ballouchy, but someone else” about two months ago out of the blue.

    Reply

Leave a Comment