Kandji To Rapids For Ballouchy

With everyone curious about Juan Pablo Angel's future, I can say this caught me a bit by surprise: Mac Kandji has been traded to the Rapids for midfielder Mehdi Ballouchy.

Like Dane Richards, Kandji's game has been noticeably improved by the arrival of Thierry Henry. Just... not... enough.  My thoughts after the jump...

I have to admit I thought Kandji's days might be numbered with the club after the New York Football Challenge. Not because, as Kandji claimed, EPL sides were seriously considering him, but rather because of the somewhat unbelievable nature of the claim itself. It was obvious gamesmanship on the part of Kandji and his agent to get in the press (definitely successful) and inflate his value to the team (unsuccessful). Days later, none other than Hans Backe himself called BS on the claim:

"Not at all," said Hans Backe exclusively to, when asked if any there was any truth to the rumors. "It’s not enough for Mac Kandji to have two good games and suddenly end up in Europe."

I remember thinking when the Post story came out that it was a hamfisted move that risked making Kandji look like something of an ass both to his teammates and the RBNY management. That's the last thing you need when you're a promising up-and-comer whose uneven career stats indicate that you're prone to both injury and fouls. Backe's did nothing to dispel that assumption.

So now that Kandji's out, what are we getting in Ballouchy? Well, first of all, we're getting yet another midfielder instead of a striker (and sometimes midfielder). Though Rapids fans have frequently criticized Ballouchy's inconsistency, he does seem to create opportunities, with 5 assists this season (20 since 2006) to Kandji's 0, which is exactly what we need. And it couldn't have been easy for Ballouchy to be the guy Rapids fans always viewed as "that guy Beckerman was traded for," so hopefully New York will be a better fit. Other than that, I don't know much about the guy, but maybe we can get some conversations going here among folks who do.

The opinions stated herein are wholly those of the writer and do not necessarily reflect those of or

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