Houston trades draft pick for Kandji


Photo by Tony Quinn/ISIphotos.com

The Houston Dynamo are still actively trying to improve their forward options, and they took a step in that direction by swinging a trade Wednesday night.

The Dynamo traded a conditional 2014 draft pick to the Colorado Rapids for Macoumba Kandji, adding the athletic, Senegalese striker to a stable that currently has Calen Carr, Will Bruin, Cam Weaver and rookie Colin Rolfe.

For the Rapids, the trade frees up a decent chunk of cap space (Kandji's base salary for 2011 was $120,000). Kandji will forever have a place in Rapids franchise lore for coming on as a substitute in the 2010 MLS Cup and creating the play that led to George John's title-clinching overtime own goal. Kandji tore his ACL on that play, though, and missed a good portion of last season while finishing off his recovery.

What do you think of the move? Do you see Kandji finding success with the Dynamo?

Share your thoughts below.

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39 Responses to Houston trades draft pick for Kandji

  1. Andy says:

    I really like this move. Houston needs a striker, and hopefully he fills the void left by Ching. I honestly could see him surprising some people this year. He has all the physical tools to be a very good player in this league.

  2. Eric says:

    Funny. Kandjii mentions a possible move to Europe and ends up traded to Houston.

  3. Rabid RBNY says:


  4. adam says:

    admittedly have not seen him a ton, but has shown some flair you like to see. however, he’s one of those guys who seems to continually be expendable so i tend to believe that where theres smoke, theres fire and theres a reason he’s always available….

  5. John.q says:

    Kanji! Remember those days in Giants stadium cheering on kanji fancy feet. Good luck to him!

  6. William says:

    African strikers have been known to resurrect the career in Dominic Kinnear’s system.

  7. Andy says:

    Yeah maybe your right, but he definitely could be a good player in my opinion. It all depends on his recovery from the injuries and his mindset.

  8. CSD says:

    Mexican strikers have been known to get fat in Houston Restaurants.

  9. Brit says:

    It’s starting to look more like a certainty that Brian Ching won’t be wearing Orange next season…

  10. CSD says:

    Scottish Strikers have been known to think Houston sucks.

    Hawaiian strikers have been known to be left upprotected in Houston and the gotten pissed about it.

    Canadian Strikers have been known to leave Houston and then start playing “air check writing”

    That’s all I got. Anyone I am forgetting to offend.

  11. Andy says:

    Smart move overall even though it sucks for Ching, and the relationship he has with the Dynamo.

  12. Andy says:

    Haha so true. Well, many Houstonians have been known to get fat off the restaurants

  13. abc says:

    Polish(-American) strikers leave Houston and start winning golden boots.

  14. Semper Fi says:

    Nowadays, it is often the other way around also…

  15. Rlw2020 says:

    He made colorado a better team, noone here was surpised to see folan go but kanji … Best of luck in houston mac!

  16. Reg says:

    At 26, he still has upside. 2011 was a recovery year for him. I think he still has the talent to become a consistent player. Houston still needs to get that big name DP though.

  17. Brit says:

    Yeah its heartbreaking to see him from being so resolute to participating (like a true pro) in Montreal’s pre-season. Looks like someone in the Dynamo FO told him nothing was happening. Can’t help but feel we hung him out to dry.

  18. abc says:

    He is 26 and what has he accomplished so far in his career? Why do people keep believing he can be an impact player?

    In fact, why do people do that about many players. Kenny Cooper (minus that one year). Freddy Adu. I could name another two dozen.

    I guess once in a while you end up with a Dominic Oduro. But we’ll see this year if that was a fluke or not…

  19. Oranje says:

    There will be a welcoming party for him at the Roosevelt Lounge on Friday night. Collared shirts only, please.

  20. Aguinaga says:

    Why does the term “athletic” appear so often in both soccer write-ups & broadcasts to describe players of African descent? Re: this story in particular, not saying Mac isn’t athletic, but aren’t all MLS players athletic? Legit question. Just seems like players from other backgrounds don’t get the ‘athletic’ tag nearly as often. Cheers.

  21. fischy says:

    Sure. Honduran strikers (Costly) English-Nigerian strikers (Akinbiyhi) and Venezuelan (Moreno). Also Americans other than Hawaiians — must I remind y’all that Hawaiians are Americans?

  22. fischy says:

    Yeah, sure, except for the part where he gets to live in Montreal instead of Houston.

  23. fischy says:

    Some American players aren’t all that athletic.

    I think in soccer terms, “athletic” is code for “fast black guy”, whereas in basketball, it means “black guy with good vertical leap,” and in football it means some combination of the two.

  24. fischy says:

    Hockey players are never called “athletic”.

  25. RK says:

    Sounds like the code of “well-spoken”.

  26. Andy says:

    That makes me feel even worse… making him live in Canada is the worst punishment of it all.

  27. Gnarls says:

    And “articulate.”

  28. RK says:

    “Has a great personality” is code for “fugly”.

  29. mattoomba says:

    Well, Houston is a very European-style city. Okay…not really.

  30. Chris says:

    Who knows how this will turn out? In this league, absolutely nothing is predictable. Wondo going from sucking in Dynamo first-team chances to winning golden boot. Oduro actually finishing chances in Chicago. Kenny Cooper going from scoring loads of goals to what he is now. Jaqua going from being good in Houston to being poor in Seattle. Kandji could be awesome or invisible. He’s fast and he has flair, two things Houston hasn’t really had at striker before (Oduro was fast, but that’s about it; I still think it’s sort of debatable whether Carr is fast or not—I realize he is, but he just never seems to exploit it properly). Anyway, I’d file this move under “Sure, why not?”

  31. The Imperative Voice says:

    I thought he was an up and coming player dating back to Atlanta, and people forget he helped break the deadlock to win it in 2010….but he got hurt on the same play, the injuries are an interesting issue to overcome (I used to be blazing fast but injuries took their toll…..factor that into “physical tools”….you don’t have them when your knees and ankles go), you never know how that works out. It’s alo interesting that this is the second straight year — Colin Clark last year — that Houston has picked up an injured Colorado player by trade as arguably a reclamation project.

    He’s a different player than Ching but let’s be real Kinnear had too many lumbering back to goal forwards in town last year, such that the team miraculously took off when Carr healed and started to offer a speed option. I think we need it to balance the attack because Bruin and Weaver went nowhere as a pair. You need more tactical flexibility and complimentary attributes. Every goal can’t come off a Davis cross if we want to improve….and Davis may not be there to start the year.

    I was very concerned about forward quality and depth as the season approached, this addresses some of that. This is not quite Boyd or Cooper (much less Keane) but he offers interesting qualities and is probably good for as many or more goals than Ching (these days) over a season, if healthy.

  32. The Imperative Voice says:

    This raises the question, to me, of whether Kandji (a) just wanted out of Colorado, which is Team Turmoil the past year — and may have shed the coach he liked — or (b) if he in fact has European aspirations, which makes him more of a “rental.” Houston has a history of “rentals” dating up to Costly last year, and one can argue over whether the short-termist approach to finding Ching pairs or now forwards in general has hindered Houston’s consistent competitiveness. Puts a lot of pressure every year to secure good forward talent and our luck has been spotty on that since 2007.

  33. The Imperative Voice says:

    I do agree that in critique of the common Kinnear narrative his effectiveness as securing quality forward talent has been crappy since 2007. There was a point when we reclaimed forwards and they began producing, and you can argue about whether Oduro was an isolated example of that for his stint here, but then there is a substantial recent pattern of running off Kamara (almost 10 goals), DeRo (MVP, 15 goals), Wondo (Golden Boot level), and others, including Koke, who then signed in La Liga. Further notion: Wondo was King of the Reserves under Timbers coach Spender, Kinnear never harnessed the same production which Yallop has. Dynamo have not won since Spenny left. How much of the past history of reclaiming strikers was Spenny, who had a storied history in Scotland, with Chelsea, with Colorado, etc. Houston has arguably been TOO DEFENSIVE in years like 2009 and 2011, when they advanced far but couldn’t score the goals to balance the tight defense. Both times LA sent them home. Does Kinnear miss his offensive half?

  34. The Imperative Voice says:


  35. Jose Is A Translater says:

    Anyone ever stop to think that maybe he doesn’t fit into Pareja’s System? I mean big men in some 4-3-3 systems have a hard time if that particular 4-3-3 is not really target man based and more fluid. Can anyone say Zlatan and Barca?

  36. The Imperative Voice says:

    “Anyone ever stop to think” that they won a title playing the old Smith way with Kandji and the most publicized attempt at a MLS 433 in recent times is the TFC Winter team that has still not broken into the liberal MLS playoff scheme?

    I think you can argue about your point — personally, I think you need speed and crossing ability in wing forwards in a 433, because they can be almost like wings in a 451, and the argument might be that Kandji has one but not the other….debatable but fair point — and I’d acknowledge that players might not stay good fits with a change in system — but it strikes me as a little off for a team that won before the recent turmoil, to be like, we need to toss the formation, jettison the players who helped us win. It sounds more messianic and “mission statement” than it sounds like they sat down, assessed the roster, and married personnel to style.

    La Liga generally plays flowing tiki-taka soccer so taking it to Barcelona lengths is merely variation on a theme. But trying to impose a 433 in physical and defensive MLS is an iffy proposition, particularly when you consider that you’d probably need to accumulate 5-8 very talented offensive players to overcome the tactical counter-attackability every MLS team could mount against a 433. Which is an expensive proposition and we have a salary cap with limited exceptions. Good luck with that.

  37. roger says:


  38. Brent McD says:

    Argentinian strikers (Caraccio) who just disappear.