Mac Kandji could play either midfield or attack this weekend.
Getty Images

Kandji chooses to play for Senegal or Gambia

UPPER MONTCLAIR, N.J. — The international future of Red Bulls attacker Mac Kandji will be determined over the next few days.

Kandji, who had expressed interest in playing for the United States, has decided to wear the colors of either Senegal or Gambia and hopes to represent one of the two countries during qualifying for the Africa Cup of Nations.

“It is Gambia or Senegal," Kandji said on Tuesday. "I will decide soon because I want to play for them in October during the (qualifying) matches then.”

Kandji, who is in the United States on asylum status, was born in Senegal and his father played for the national side. He spent most of his formative years in Gambia, however, and counts more family in the small West African nation than anywhere else.

“I had thought about the United States—my father had advised me to consider the United States because of their organization and structure—but I don’t know when I’ll be able to become a citizen," the 25-year-old Kandji said. "I don’t want to be 31 and just beginning my international career.”

Senegal have had decent succes in recent years, reaching the quarterfinals of the 2002 World Cup and finishing runners up at the 2002 Cup of Nations. Gambia, who already count three MLS players as regulars - the Revolution's Sainey Nyassi and Kenny Mansally and the Sounders' Sanna Nyassi - have never qualified for either the World Cup or the Cup of Nations.

“Both countries are good, strong countries and I think I can play for either one in the African Nations Cup,” Kandji said. “I hope to make a decision within the next two weeks.”

Kristian R. Dyer can be reached for comment at and followed at

MLS LIVE now only $7.99

Decision Day presented by AT&T is Sunday. But, one thing is already decided. MLS LIVE is the best way to watch all the out-of-market action on Decision Day (October 22)*. You can watch multiple games on multiple devices or watch four games on one screen with your laptop. Subscriptions are only $7.99 (or $4.99 if you use our iOS app). *Some blackout rules apply.

MLS Decision Day presented by AT&T

Sunday, October 22 at 4:00pm ET

Decision Day is the only day of the season when every team plays at the exact same time. The result is the most intense and dramatic two hours of the MLS season as teams fight for playoff positions. Watch MLS's thrilling end to the season on ESPN & MLS LIVE.

Pay As We Play!

New York Red Bulls Pay As We Play Playoff Plans, presented by New Jersey Lottery for the Audi 2017 MLS Cup Playoffs are available now! Red Members have their normal seats included for up to two playoff games, but have access to additional seats through the Pay As We Play program.