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.

Red Bulls Swap Kandji for Colorado’s Ballouchy

Colorado midfielder Mehdi Ballouchy hit the post early in the second half of the Rapids-Red Bulls game this past Saturday, and was otherwise a pretty lively presence in midfield for his team.

It didn’t go unnoticed by Red Bulls brass.

Today, in a relatively rare player-for-player trade, New York announced it had sent midfielder-striker Macoumba Kandji to Colorado in exchange for Ballouchy.

It’s an interesting transaction, and has the potential to benefit both sides. But it does raise a few questions:

Kandji is most comfortable at striker; New York had no room for him there, and he never adapted to a wide midfield role. With U.S. international Conor Casey and the red-hot Omar Cummings starting up top in Colorado, Kandji may not be a starter there, either. Will he be happy as the Rapids’ third striker?

Where, and how much, will Ballouchy play for New York?

Does his arrival mean Tony Tchani, who only recently carved out a starting spot in central midfield, heads back to the bench?

How will this affect the role of Rafa Marquez, who had assumed the playmaker’s role in midfield for New York?

Will there be a new formation in New York?

We’ll start to get some answers on Thursday night in Dallas.

Related: During pregame warmups for the Colorado-New York game on Saturday, Kandji came over to the stands and signed autographs for a few kids (including a son of Backpost).

Roy Miller and a few other Red Bulls declined the kids’ pleas to come over, choosing to stay focused on their pregame prep.

Maybe Kandji knew he was on his way out, and wanted to create a few mementoes.

He signed the game-day program—which featured his image on the cover.