Kandji Tore His ACL on MLS Cup–Winning Play

Turns out Macoumba Kandji wasn’t time-wasting after his nutmeg-and-toe-poke led to an own goal that won the MLS Cup for Colorado this past Sunday night.

Dallas players complained that the Rapids striker was taking too long to clear the field after the play—and understandably so: the clock was ticking, and their title dreams were slipping away.

But if the fact that Kandji left the game, leaving his team to play with 10 men the rest of the way (they had used all their subs), wasn’t evidence enough of an injury, test results yesterday confirmed a devastating one: The lanky Senegalese attacker suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament when Dallas defender Ugo Ihemelu landed on his left knee at the end of the sequence.

Though Kandji told ESPN Los Angeles’s Scott French that it was the “best way ever!” to get injured, he’ll be out of action until next July or August.

Mock Expansion Draft Sampler

The MLS Expansion Draft kicks off in about two hours, and the list of available players is more talent-laden than in any previous edition of the event.

Marquee names such as Juan Pablo Angel, Guillermo Barros Schelotto, and Jimmy Conrad are on the docket alongside lesser-known gems such as Dax McCarty, Robbie Russell, and Sanna Nyassi.

How will it all shake out? Here are three pundits’ predictions—click the names to see their mock drafts:

Ives Galarcep, Fox Sports

Ridge Mahoney, Soccer America

Matthew Doyle, MLS Soccer.com

There’s considerable variation among the three, but all agree that Dallas midfielder Dax McCarty will be gone after the first two picks.

Other hot commodities include Seattle striker and DP Blaise Nkufo, Houston winger Corey Ashe, Sounders midfielder Nathan Sturgis, and 21-year-old Dallas centerback Kyle Davies.

MLS Soccer.com will be streaming it live, starting at 1:45 p.m. EST.

We’re headed out on the road for Thanksgiving, but will post about the draft and other developments over the long weekend, provided the in-laws’ Commodore 64 and dial-up access are in working order.

Enjoy the holiday, everyone.

MLS Expansion Draft: The Unprotected








The Portland Timbers and Vancouver Whitecaps will take part in the 2010 MLS Expansion Draft tomorrow at 2:00 p.m.

Today, they got a first look at the list of players they’ll have to choose from, as each MLS club officially protected 11 players from their 2010 rosters, making the remainder available in the Expansion Draft.

Generation adidas players and academy products are automatically protected (without counting against the list of 11), while DPs with no-trade clauses are required to be on the protected list.

Clubs can lose no more than two players from their current rosters in the draft.

The unprotected list contains some surprising names, including six designated players, Kansas City Wizards Sporting KC defender Jimmy Conrad, Dallas midfielder Dax McCarty, Seattle winger Sanna Nyassi, and Houston goalkeeper Pat Onstad.

Here’s the full list:

Chivas USA
Borja, Carlos
Bornstein, Jonathan
Chijindu, Chukwudi
Espinoza, Rodolfo
Galindo, Maykel
Gordon, Alan
Kennedy, Dan
Lillingston, Eduardo
Maldonado, Giancarlo
Mayen, Gerson
Padilla, Jesus
Romero, Osael
Saragosa, Marcelo
Trujillo, Mariano
Zotinca, Alex

Chicago Fire
Castillo, Nery
Dykstra, Andrew
John, Collins
Krol, Krzysztof
Ljungberg, Freddie
Lowry, Peter
Robinson, Dasan
Thorrington, John
Umanzor, Deris

Colorado Rapids
Akpan, Andre
Amarikwa, Quincy
Ceus, Steward
Joyce, Ian
LaBauex, Ross
Lopez, Claudio
O’Brien, Ciaran
Palguta, Scott
Schunk, Ross
Thompson, Wells
Vagenas, Peter
Wallace, Anthony

Columbus Crew
Brunner, Eric
Burns, Kevin
Garey, Jason
Griffit, Leandre
Gruenebaum, Andy
Hejduk, Frankie
Moffat, Adam
Oughton, Duncan
Padula, Gino
Schelotto, Guillermo Barros
Williams, Joshua

FC Dallas
Avila, Eric
Cunningham, Jeff
Davies, Kyle
Edward, Edson
Guarda, Bruno
Harris, Atiba
Hernandez, Daniel
McCarty, Dax
Rodriguez, Milton
Sala, Dario
Yeisley, Jason

D.C. United
Allsopp, Daniel
Barklage, Brandon
Cristman, Adam
Graye, Jordan
Hernandez, Pablo
McTavish, Devon
Morsink, Kurt
Pena, Juan
Perkins, Troy
Rice, Barry
Varela, Carlos

Houston Dynamo
Appiah, Samuel
Ashe, Corey
Cochrane, Ryan
Mulrooney, Richard
Ngwenya, Joseph
Obodai, Anthony
Oduro, Dominic
Onstad, Pat
Robinson, Eddie

Sporting Kansas City
Aiyegbusi, Korede
Beasley, Jamar
Chhetri, Sunil
Conrad, Jimmy
Diop, Birahim
Hercegfalvi, Zoltan
Hohlbein, Aaron
Kounenakis, Nick
Kronberg, Eric
Leathers, Jonathan
Myers, Chance
Thomas, Shavar
Wolff, Josh

LA Galaxy
Berhalter, Gregg
Cazumba, Alex
Da Silva, Leonardo
Jordan, Bryan
Kirovski, Jovan
Kovalenko, Dema
Magee, Mike
Marshall, Yohance
Perk, Brian
Saunders, Josh

New England Revolution
Boggs, Zak
Burpo, Preston
Colaluca, Nico
Dube, Kheli
Gibbs, Cory
Griffiths, Jason
Linck, Roberto
Murray, Tim
Phelan, Pat
Sinovic, Seth
Smith, Khano
Stolica, Ilija

New York Red Bulls
Angel, Juan Pablo
Boyens, Andrew
Chinn, Conor
da Luz, Austin
Garcia, Irving
Nielsen, Brian
Robinson, Carl
Salou, Ibrahim
Sassano, Luke
Sutton, Greg
Talley, Carey
Ubiparipovic, Sinisa

Philadelphia Union
Arrieta, Cristian
Coudet, Eduardo
Jacobson, Andrew
Knighton, Brad
Miglioranzi, Stefani
Moreno, Alejandro
Noone, Joseph
Salinas, Shea
Seitz, Chris
Zimmerman, Nick

Real Salt Lake
Alexandre, Jean
Campos, Pablo
Findley, Robbie
Gonzalez, Nelson
Grabavoy, Ned
Horst, David
McKenzie, Rauwshan
Melia, Timothy
Nimo, Alex
Reynish, Kyle
Russell, Robbie
Schuler, Chris
Warner, Collen
Williams, Andy

San Jose Earthquakes
Alvarez, Arturo
Andre Luiz
Beitashour, Steve
Burling, Bobby
Cannon, Joe
Corrales, Ramiro
Glen, Cornell
Leitch, Chris
Morrow, Justin
Ring, Brad
Ward, Tim

Seattle Sounders FC
Baudet, Julien
Boss, Terry
Earls, Danny
Estrada, David
Gonzalez, Leonardo
Graham, Taylor
Ianni, Patrick
Levesque, Roger
Marshall, Tyrone
Montano, Miguel
Nkufo, Blaise
Noonan, Pat
Nyassi, Sanna
Scott, Zacharias
Seamon, Michael
Sturgis, Nathan
Wahl, Tyson

Toronto FC
Barrett, Chad
de Guzman, Julian
Gala, Gabe
Garcia, Nick
Hscanovics, Raivis
Ibrahim, Fuad
Kocic, Milos
Nane, Joseph
Sanyang, Amadou
Saric, Martin
Usanov, Maxim
White, O’Brian

Flurry of Trades Hits MLS On First Day of Offseason

The shavings have only just been cleared from the Colorado Rapids’ newly-engraved name on the MLS Cup trophy, and already teams are wheeling and dealing.

The expansion Portland Timbers made their first trade as an MLS franchise yesterday, sending a third-round pick in the 2011 MLS SuperDraft (January 13, Baltimore) to New York in exchange for defender/midfielder Jeremy Hall.

We’d say that’s giving away the 22-year-old Hall, who made 37 appearances and 31 starts in two seasons with the Red Bulls, a little cheaply. It’s also showing a lot of faith in the ability of 31-year-old Chris Albright, who won the right back position over Hall this season, to stay healthy.

In Columbus, the Crew dealt veteran midfielder Brian Carroll, 29, to the Philadelphia Union in exchange for allocation money and a conditional second-round pick in January’s SuperDraft.

Again, we might suggest that this is selling short: Carroll has eight caps with the U.S. national team, and is a very solid holding midfielder. But they’re cleaning house in Columbus, having already declined the option on veteran playmaker Guillermo Barros Schelotto’s contract, and Carroll is no longer in their plans.

Less than 24 hours after he helped Colorado nail down the MLS Cup, playing all 30 minutes of extra time, defender Julien Baudet, 31, was shipped out to Seattle.

The Rapids sent the Frenchman and 21-year-old defender Danny Earls to Sounders FC in exchange for veteran midfielder Peter Vagenas—and this one, too, is a bit of a head-scratcher for us here at BP.

Vagenas will be 33 by the time the 2011 MLS season kicks off, and he made just seven appearances for Seattle this year, after making only 14 in each of the previous two seasons.

Holden, Bolton, Getting Better and Better: Yanks In England Weekend Wrap

While MLS dropped the curtain on its 15th season, one MLS alum continued the remarkable second act of his career.

U.S. midfielder Stuart Holden is proving to be a critical component of Bolton’s midfield, while Bolton, after Saturday’s 5-1 demolition of Newcastle, is establishing itself as an early contender for a place in Europe.

Holden got the start and played 90 minutes. Wanderers got two goals each from Johan Elmander and Kevin Davies in the rout, which moves them up to fifth place in the league. Click here for the highlights Holden posted to Facebook.

Clint Dempsey started and went the distance in Fulham’s 4-1 loss to Manchester City on Sunday.

Eddie Johnson did not dress for the Cottagers.

Brad Friedel started, played 90, and made two saves in Aston Villa’s 2-0 loss to Blackburn on Sunday.

Brad Guzan and Eric Lichaj both dressed but did not play for Villa.

Marcus Hahnemann started, went the distance, and made two saves in Wolverhampton’s 2-1 loss to Blackpool on Saturday in a matchup of Quote of the Year candidate managers Ian Holloway and Mick McCarthy.

Let’s see what they had to say about the game. …

[scouring Internet] …

Hmm …

Nothing to scintillating—just Holloway being kind to under-pressure Wolves:

“I thought Wolves were very hard done by. They made it really difficult for us. I made a few changes but because they had more of the ball than I anticipated it didn’t really work for us. It is the first time at this level when we have got something probably unjustly.”

Wolves are mired at the bottom of the table with nine points from 14 games.

Speaking of….

Jonathan Spector dressed but did not play in West Ham’s 3-0 loss to Liverpool at Anfield on Saturday. The Hammers are tied with Wolves, trailing them on goal difference.

Tim Howard started and went the distance in Everton’s 2-2 tie with Sunderland today. The Black Cats’ 19-year-old striker, Danny Welbeck, on loan from Manchester United, scored both of Sunderland’s goals.

Colorado Lifts MLS Cup 2010

Of the eight entrants in the MLS playoffs, they were probably the seventh-most likely to win the whole thing. They edged their first-round opponent on penalties, squeaked past the second round with a 1-0 victory, and entered last night’s final as the underdog.

And when they went down a goal at halftime, they were looking at an 0-for-50 record during the past several years when trailing at the break.

Yet here the Colorado Rapids are—after Mac Kandji’s extra-time toe-poke led to a Dallas own goal—MLS champions for the 2010 season, following a wild 2-1 win at Toronto’s chilly BMO Field.

For more on last night’s game, click here and read our column at MLS.

In related news, we have a winner in the First Annual Backpost MLS Playoff Pool, and his name is … envelope please…. Old 27!

A Denverite, Old 27 was one of two entrants to pick the Rapids to go all the way—the other was Jon, from the British Bulldog pub (“Your Colorado Rapids Bar”), also located in that fair Rocky Mountain city.

One point separated the two, and it came from Old 27’s selection of LA over Seattle in the first round, while Jon had Sounders FC winning that one.

So congrats, Old 27. A copy of Soccernomics is headed your way soon.

Thanks to all for playing, and reading.