Macoumba Kandji

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Macoumba Kandji
Mac Kandji 2014 2014-05-19 09-15.jpg
Personal information
Date of birth (1985-08-02) 2 August 1985 (age 29)
Place of birth Dakar, Senegal
Height 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)
Playing position Forward
Club information
Current team
HJK
Number 99
Youth career
2004–2005 Georgia Military Bulldogs
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2006 Atlanta Silverbacks U23's 8 (1)
2007–2008 Atlanta Silverbacks 28 (13)
2008 New York Red Bulls (loan) 5 (1)
2009–2010 New York Red Bulls 36 (5)
2010–2011 Colorado Rapids 16 (0)
2012 Houston Dynamo 29 (4)
2013 Kalloni 19 (6)
2013–2014 Levadiakos 12 (0)
2014– HJK 23 (6)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 21 October 2014.
† Appearances (Goals).

Macoumba Kandji (born 2 August 1985 in Dakar) is a Senegalese footballer who currently plays for HJK Helsinki in the Veikkausliiga.

Career[edit]

Early life and college[edit]

Kandji was born in Senegal, raised in The Gambia, and came to the United States in 2003. He attended East Mecklenburg High School in Charlotte, North Carolina, where he was voted MVP in 2003 as the Men's All-State Team forward, and played college soccer at Georgia Military College, where he was selected in the All-Region team in 2004 and 2005, scoring 17 goals and providing six assists during the 2005 season.

During 2006, Kandji also impressed while playing for Atlanta Silverbacks U23's in the USL Premier Development League, scoring one goal and one assist in eight games.

Professional[edit]

Macoumba Kandji signing autographs during his time with the Red Bulls.

Kandji joined the senior Atlanta Silverbacks team in 2007. He made his first team debut 4 August 2007 against Charleston Battery. From then on, he began to establish himself as one of the top players of the USL. During the 2008 season Kandji appeared in 21 league matches for Atlanta, registering 11 goals and 5 assists. He was named to the USL-1 Weekly Best 11 on six occasions, despite playing just one game in the final six weeks of the season due to an ankle injury.

Kandji finished the 2008 season ranked third in points (27 points, 21 games), though he missed nearly a third of the season due to injury, travel restrictions, and a loan to New York Red Bulls. During his time with the Silverbacks, Kandji was the main feature of an ESPN Soccernet article highlighting some of the USL's tops stars.[1]

On 15 September 2008, Kandji signed with New York Red Bulls of Major League Soccer on loan through the end of the 2008 MLS season. This initial loan deal involved Red Bulls paying Atlanta Silverbacks a fee of $25,000. If the loan was a success, then another fee of $150,000 would be paid for Kandji, making the total amount paid $175,000. He made his MLS debut against Colorado Rapids on 27 September 2008, where he recorded an assist.

Macoumba Kandji, a forward for the Houston Dynamo against Chance Myers of Sporting KC at Livestrong Sporting Park

In November 2008, the Silverbacks announced that, due to financial reasons, they would be 'sitting out' the 2009 season. This development would have made Kandji a free agent, allowing New York to pick him up on a free transfer instead of the $175,000 previously agreed. However, Silverbacks owner Boris Jerkunica transferred his rights to Carolina Railhawks, a team he had a small stake in.[2]

New York purchased his rights and signed him on a one-year deal on 14 January 2009.[3] Kandji quickly established himself as a key performer for New York. His performance on 5/8/09 in a 4–1 victory over San Jose Earthquakes, in which Kandji scored one goal and had two assists,led to him being named MLS player of the week.[4] In his first full season with New York, Kandji appeared in 23 league matches scoring 4 goals and assisting on 5 others.

Macoumba Kandji in 2010.

On 25 July 2010 Kandji scored a goal and assisted Dane Richards on another in a 2–1 pre-season victory over Manchester City.[5] According to The Sun, Kandji's play in pre-season friendly matches against both Manchester City and Tottenham led to interest from fellow Premier League sides Bolton and Blackpool.[6] It was also rumoured that Greece's Skoda Xanthi was interested in signing Kandji.

On 14 September 2010, Kandji was traded to Colorado Rapids for Mehdi Ballouchy and an international roster spot.[7]

Kandji played an integral role in scoring the winning goal for Colorado Rapids during the 2010 MLS Cup final. His shot on goal was deflected off a defender, and though classified as an own-goal, it was his shot that resulted in the scoring opportunity. Kandji was also injured on this play; he suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament. He underwent surgery to fix the torn ligament at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City with Doctor Riley Williams (head team physician for Kandji's former team, the New York Red Bulls).

Kandji was traded to Houston Dynamo on 8 February 2012 (to fill their void at the left wing position) in exchange for a conditional pick in the 2014 MLS SuperDraft.[8] At year's end, Kandji declined a contract extension from Houston in pursuit of a European contract.

He signed with Kalloni of the Greek Second Division on 28 January 2013.[9] In 19 appearances with the club, Kandji bagged six goals in 1477 minutes played. Not only did he contribute with goals, Kandji helped the club gain promotion to the first division and earn a spot in the Super League.

Although his club was promoted, Kandji announced he had changed clubs to Levadiakos F.C. of the Greek Super League (1st division) for the new Greek season 2013/2014. He signed with Levadiakos F.C. a one year contract.

In April 2014 Kandji has signed a short-term contract with the most successful Finnish football club HJK Helsinki until August 2014 with an option to extent. Kandji believes his inclusion will help in the club push to reach the UEFA Champions League and retain the Finnish league title. On 12 April he scored a goal on his Veikkausliiga debut against KuPS. Qualified for the Europa League group stages 2014 with HJK with a 5-4 aggregate victory over SK Rapid Wien.

International[edit]

Kandji has not yet appeared for any national team. Both Senegal and The Gambia have offered Kandji an opportunity to play, but Kandji has so far turned them down in hopes of one day playing for the United States. Though more recently, he has announced his decision to give up his desire to play for the US, citing the delay of naturalisation papers as a reason and not wanting to wait years more only to make his debut at age 31 but get started right away in time for African Nations Cup qualifiers, and is set to decide on his international future.[10]

Honours[edit]

Atlanta Silverbacks[edit]

New York Red Bulls[edit]

Colorado Rapids[edit]

HJK Helsinki[edit]

Individual[edit]

  • 2007 USL Division 1 Player of the Week (Week 17)
  • 2007 USL Division 1 Goal of the Week (Week 17 – view here)
  • 2008 USL Division 1 Player of the Week (Weeks 10, 16)
  • 2008 USL Division 1 Team of the Week (Weeks 7, 10, 12, 16, 17, 22)
  • 2008 USL Division 1 Goal of the Week (Week 16 – view here)
  • 2009 MLS Player of the Week (Week 8)

Career statistics[edit]

(correct as of 28 November 2010)
Club Season League Lamar Hunt US Open Cup Play-offs CONCACAF Total
Apps Goals Assists Apps Goals Assists Apps Goals Assists Apps Goals Assists Apps Goals Assists
Atlanta Silverbacks 2007 7 2 0 - - - 5 0 0 - - - 12 2 0
Atlanta Silverbacks 2008 21 11 5 2 1 0 - - - - - - 23 12 5
New York Red Bulls 2008 5 1 2 - - - 2 0 0 - - - 7 1 2
New York Red Bulls 2009 23 4 5 1 0 0 - - - - - - 24 4 5
New York Red Bulls 2010 13 1 0 - - 13 1 0
Colorado Rapids 2010 3 0 3 1 0 0 1 0 0 - - - 4 0 3
Houston Dynamo 2012 7 1 0 - - - - - - - - - 7 1 0
Total 2007–present 79 20 15 3 1 0 8 0 0 - - - 90 21 15

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]