Kandji playing for HJK
|Date of birth||2 August 1985|
|Place of birth||Dakar, Senegal|
|Height||6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)|
|2004–2005||Georgia Military Bulldogs|
|2006||Atlanta Silverbacks U23's||8||(1)|
|2008||→ New York Red Bulls (loan)||5||(1)|
|2009–2010||New York Red Bulls||36||(5)|
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 9 July 2015.
Early life and college
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.
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.
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.
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.
New York purchased his rights and signed him on a one-year deal on 14 January 2009. 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. In his first full season with New York, Kandji appeared in 23 league matches scoring 4 goals and assisting on 5 others.
On 25 July 2010 Kandji scored a goal and assisted Dane Richards on another in a 2–1 pre-season victory over Manchester City. 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. It was also rumoured that Greece's Skoda Xanthi was interested in signing Kandji.
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. 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. 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 signed a short-term contract with the most successful Finnish football club HJK Helsinki until August 2014 with an option to extend.
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. HJK qualified for the Europa League group stages 2014 with a 5-4 aggregate victory over SK Rapid Wien.
After spending year in Saudi Arabia, he returned to HJK in July 2015 and said that it is "great to be back again". The move will officially take place when the transfer market window opens, and he will not be able to play any official matches before 8th of August 2015.
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.
New York Red Bulls
- 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)
- As of match played 15 May 2015
|Club||Season||League||National Cup||League Cup||Continental||Other||Total|
|Atlanta Silverbacks||2007||USL First Division||7||2||0||0||-||0||0||5||0||12||2|
|New York Red Bulls (loan)||2008||Major League Soccer||5||1||0||0||-||0||0||2||0||7||1|
|New York Red Bulls||2009||23||4||1||0||-||0||0||0||0||24||4|
|Colorado Rapids||2010||Major League Soccer||10||0||-||-||-||10||0|
|Houston Dynamo||2012||Major League Soccer||34||4||1||0||-||2||0||-||37||4|
|AEL Kalloni||2012–13||Beta Ethniki||19||6||0||0||-||-||-||19||6|
|Al-Faisaly||2014–15||Saudi Professional League||10||2||0||0||-||-||-||10||2|
- "Its eye Kandji for new boys". The Sun (London). 28 July 2010.
- "Kandji traded to Colorado". New York Red Bulls. 14 September 2010. Retrieved 14 September 2010.
- "Unmellow Yellow for Galaxy and Sounders". The New York Times. 11 May 2009.