'Bouna Time' is at 180 minutes and counting
The Red Bulls are 180
minutes into the MLS season and goalkeeper Bouna Coundoul has yet to
pick the ball out of his own net.
late last season by New York, the Senegalese international faced some stiff
competition in the offseason from Danny Cepero and most recently, former
Toronto ‘keeper Greg Sutton.
Mike Petke called Coundoul “one of the best athletes” he’s played with or
against. MLSsoccer.com had a brief sit-down with Coundoul, in a place
and a state of mind we like to call “Bouna Time.”
MLSSoccer.com: With Seattle pressing for an
equalizer, how scary was that second half?
Coundoul: It wasn’t that scary. A team that
is down will need to press, press, press for that goal but that leaves them
open in the back. We held tight, we kept our composure. We just didn’t want to
lose our focus, what we were trying to do. We knew they wanted that goal, but
we weren’t going to let them through.
You’ve now had an offseason with Des McAleenan, one of the best
goalkeeper coaches in the league. What have you seen change about your game?
Coundoul: Everything. Everything about my
game has improved. Communication, reflexes, shot-blocking and even my composure
has all gotten better working with Des. I’ve grown as a player, especially
since I started playing in the league with Colorado. Back then, I was worried
just about not giving up goals. Now, I want to limit mistakes.
On Saturday night against Seattle, you stopped taking goal kicks. Any
Coundoul: I have a bit of a knee problem and a
problem in both of my ankles. After that one kick that went wrong, I didn’t
want to take any risks and take a bad kick and then they [Seattle] counter and
they score. Mike [Petke] and Tim [Ream] back there said to me not to worry
about kicks, especially with the turf and all. But once we get back on grass,
I’ll be taking the kicks and you’ll be pleased with what you see.
MLSSoccer.com: What is the difference, as a ‘keeper,
between playing on the turf at Giants Stadium and now, Red Bull Arena?
Coundoul: [Laughs] You can’t even compare the
two. Red Bull Arena, that grass is like a luxury. Giants Stadium, well, that turf wasn’t good
at all. You can’t really compare the two, at all, as a keeper.
Coundoul spends at least one half of the game in the supporters end of Red Bull
Arena, what are his thoughts on the fans and have they developed a chant for
keepers for this franchise had their own unique chorus lines from the Empire
Supporters Club following a save, including Tim Howard with a simple unison
chant inspired by South Park of “Timmmay!”
Walker gave rise to the song of “Johnny Walker saves his shots” and of course
“Red label! Black label!” Even Jon Conway had his “At a way Conway, at a
way!” How about Bouna?
“I hear a lot of ‘Bouna Time’ coming from the
fans and I’ve also heard some ‘Bouna take us home’ as well,” Coundoul said.
“The fans are great and I like getting to know them. I hope my play excites