I like Mac Kandji. I think he fits very nicely into the current Red Bulls system under coach Hans Backe. He has developed nicely during his time with the team and prior to injury was showing signs of brilliance. He has the potential to be something really special just based on his physical qualities. It's not too easy defending against a 6'4" 215 lb center attacking midfielder and he'll develop while being mentored by Thierry Henry, who has taken the Senegalese footballer under his wing since arriving in New York.
This past week, Red Bull Arena hosted Barclays New York Football Challenge and to say that Kandji was impressive would be understatement. In the opening game against Tottenham, he played next to Thierry Henry as Juan Pablo Angel was nursing a sprained ankle. While he didn't score any goals, he did have plenty of opportunities and was a constant threat to the Tottenham backline. He impressed the Frenchman who had nothing but good things about his new teammate. Brian Williams reports "Harry Redknapp said he liked him, the Spurs backroom staff spoke to him after the game and enquired what his situation was." He played the full 90 minutes which I'm sure also impressed these two clubs.
If the Hotspur game was Thierry Henry's coming out party, then the Manchester City game was Macoumba Kandji's. He scored the team's first goal off a crossing pass from Dane Richards. In the second half, he repaid Richards with a pass back that set up a 30 yard goal. While the media is selling the ManCity game as Richard's best game, it was Kandji would came away impressing the billionaire club. After the game, Emmanuel Adebayor and Patrick Viera sought him out to tell him he has the talent to play in the EPL.
This begs the question, are there other players within the MLS that could also compete in the higher quality leagues? Macoumba Kandji isn't the top player in the league and there are other's who may be far more deserving. A player like Steve Zakuani of the Seattle Sounders has put together a better resume. So this begs the question, of the young players in the MLS, who would you say deserves to join an EPL team?