NY pick up Colorado's Ballouchy, send Kandji west

Midfielders will provide depth for both Red Bulls and Rapids

Mehdi Ballouchy

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NEW YORK — At some point during the Colorado Rapids visit to the New York Red Bulls last weekend, the two teams did more than play against each other.

On Tuesday, three days after the Red Bulls defeated the Rapids 3-1 at Red Bull Arena, the two clubs announced a trade, New York sending midfielder/striker Macoumba Kandji to Colorado in exchange for midfielder Mehdi Ballouchy. 

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Kandji has played his entire MLS career for the Red Bulls after being acquired from the Atlanta Silverbacks in USL-1 in 2008. The 25-year-old Senegalese striker started most of the 2009 season, but has seen his minutes decreased in 2010 due to several midfield and striker acquisitions by the team, most notably Thierry Henry and the emergence of Dane Richards.

Kandji has four league goals this season, and scored against Premier League side Manchester City in a midseason friendly, a performance which reportedly garnered interest from Bolton and Blackpool.

Ballouchy has played four years in MLS. The 27-year-old Moroccan was drafted by Real Salt Lake in 2006, scoring two goals for the club before being traded to Colorado in 2007 in exchange for midfielder Kyle Beckerman. Ballouchy has scored three goals this season for the Rapids.

Colorado will play their next game at home against the New England Revolution, while Ballouchy and the Red Bulls travel to Texas to take on FC Dallas on Thursday night.