Red Bull New York announced today that it has acquired midfielder Mehdi Ballouchy from the Colorado Rapids in exchange for forward Macoumba Kandji.
“We have seen Mehdi in several matches and think that he will be a good fit for our squad,” said Red Bull New York General Manager and Sporting Director Erik Soler. “We have been looking for an attacking midfielder throughout the season and Mehdi certainly has the attributes to play that role for us. We are excited to have him as we make our run towards the MLS playoffs.”
Ballouchy, 27, has appeared in 21 games for the Rapids this season, making 19 starts, and tallying three goals and five assists – a mark that ties the team-high. The Moroccan-born midfielder has been with Colorado since July 2007 season after he was traded to the Rapids by Real Salt Lake in exchange for midfielder Kyle Beckerman. Last season, Ballouchy appeared in 28 games and recorded two goals and a career-high seven assists.
WATCH: Meet Mehdi Ballouchy
Drafted out of Santa Clara University by Real Salt Lake with the second overall pick in the 2006 MLS SuperDraft, Ballouchy was one of 10 MLS players to feature in all 32 regular season games for his club during a campaign that saw him score two goals and two assists and become a finalist for the MLS Rookie of the Year award. Over his MLS career, Ballouchy has nine goals and 20 assists.
At Santa Clara, Ballouchy was a NSCAA, Soccer America and Soccer Times First-Team All-American and one of the 15 semifinalists for the MAC Hermann Trophy Award, given to the top college player in the country. Ballouchy spent the first year of his college career at Creighton University. Ballouchy was a member of the Moroccan Under-17 and 16 National Teams before moving to the United States when he was 16 years old.
Kandji was signed by New York on Sept. 15, 2008 from the Atlanta Silverbacks of USL-1. He scored one goal for New York this season and played in 41 total regular season games for the club, notching six goals and seven assists.
Pronunciation: MEH-dee BAH-loo-chee
Day of Birth: April 6, 1983 in Casablanca, Morocco
Hometown: Casablanca, Morocco
Previous Professional Club: Colorado Rapids (MLS)
How Acquired: Acquired by New York on Sept. 13, 2010 in exchange for forward Macoumba Kandji.