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Red Bulls Trade For Mehdi Ballouchy, While Toronto FC Sack Mo And Preki

Chicago Fire v NY Red Bulls

This has been a strange week as there are a good six weeks remaining in the MLS regular season. The playoff race has been tightening up and at the moment the Western Conference teams will have the majority before the final weekend of October comes around since it looks like both Columbus and New York will have the top two spots in the East. That’s when trades are made from within the league as those destined for the playoffs need that one last piece to solve that puzzle.

Needing some midfield help and to orchestrate from within the middle of the park, the Red Bulls went out and got Moroccan International midfielder Mehdi Ballouchy from the Colorado Rapids and traded Forward Macoumba Kandji. “We’ve seen him about two to three months ago on the road at Colorado and at home in the US Open Cup” said Head Coach Hans Backe. “When they subbed him in the second half of the Open Cup match he automatically changed the game. When we played away at Colorado he could play centrally and out wide. His movements are very good.”

For Ballouchy it wasn’t that hard for him to report to Red Bulls training as he was spending a couple of days with family and heading out to Flushing Meadows Park for the US Open when he received the call from his former head coach Gary Smith. “I heard New York was interested a while ago.” said Ballouchy. “When I got the phone call I knew right away I was traded. I am excited and nervous going to a different team right away, but I am really excited coming to this team with these types of players.”

But as you all know in professional sports when trades are made, you have to give up something to get something and that player heading to Colorado was Macoumba Kandji.”He is a talented player” said Backe. “We hope this move will give him more time as a striker, because it’s how to build a team and be the strongest team in New York.” The first time I saw Kandji play in any US League was for the Atlanta Silverbacks then of USL-1st Division during the 2008 season when Fox Soccer Channel had the Friday night USL match of the week. Kandji blazed a trail of field turf pellets attacking the oppositions net. I hoped then he was going to be a great strike partner for Juan Pablo Angel. He is a good person and I hope he will have some success in the Denver area.

When it comes to the situation with Toronto FC all you can say is that no matter what quick fixes they have tried to make the playoffs, someway and somehow they have fallen short. If it’s not the late season collapses, then it’s the win and your in scenario last year and they got blown out from the Red Bulls last home match at Giants Stadium from a total of five goals to nil. Well this afternoon was the last straw for Maple Leafs Sports & Entertainment as General Manager Mo Johnston has been fired and Soccer Hall of Famer Preki has joined him as well.

Toronto FC currently on a six match losing streak as it started with the first home loss at BMO Field against the Red Bulls on August 21st, then a joke of a so called Champions League match at Arabe Unido August 24. Two scoreless draws against Real Salt Lake & at the Chicago Fire, a one goal loss at FC Dallas, but the final straw the broke the camel’s back was their last home match as they lost to last place DC United allowing a 71st minute goal by Julius James to officially sealed both Johnston’s & Preki’s fate. Assistant coach and former Canadian International Nick Dasovic will run Toronto FC for the remainder of the league season & the four CONCACAF Champions League group stage matches.

With these events happening for TFC is the change quick enough to grab a playoff spot with six matches remaining and will they find success in claiming one of the two spots in their group to reach the knockout stages of the CONCACAF Champions League. If the pressure wasn’t this big for them, then it’s going to get a lot worse towards the end of the regular season.

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  1. Trent Bruner

    September 17, 2010 at 8:26 am

    Although there may be pressure on the players and coaches to make the playoffs because TFC is hosting the MLS Cup Final this year, the thing to remember is that many people in Canada have been delighted with the release of Mo Johnston and Preki. In fact, the reaction on these events have been one of relief. If you check the following podcast from It’s Called Football on Wednesday, September 15th (, articles from The 24th Minute blog (, The Footy Show Podcasts of Sept. 14 and 16th from Canadian cable sports channel The Score ( and the September 16th broadcast of The Soccer Show on Toronto’s FAN590 ( Pay attention to the comments of Ben Knight of and CBC soccer analyst Jason De Vos. This should bring a clear Canadian perspective on this situation. And yes, TFC at Real Salt Lake was a CCL match; not a regular MLS match.

  2. Daniel Feuerstein

    September 17, 2010 at 1:05 am

    Robert. If you want to contribute to MLS Talk, then go ahead and do so. What do you want me to do when this past Tuesday was news. This is all legit stuff.

  3. Robert

    September 16, 2010 at 1:42 pm

    Jesus, CCL, TFC losing their coach, RSL destroying and more RBNY news. Get it together MLS talk.

  4. Tom

    September 16, 2010 at 11:04 am

    As a Rapids fan, I’m bummed about loosing Ballouchy, I thought he was a decent creative player. I’m not familiar with the player we are getting, though we do need a third striker.

  5. LtBarry

    September 15, 2010 at 8:03 pm

    Um, Toronto doesn’t have any regular season games against SLC left this year. The Toronto SLC game tonight has no impact on MLS standings and no impact on whether or not they make the playoffs.

    • Charles

      September 19, 2010 at 1:09 pm

      Oooops. Dumb post of the week.

      I keep reading ( locally ) how easy the Sounders schedule is now that they got past Columbus, but actually KC, Toronto, Chicago all have relatively easy schedules….and all play each other.

      Should be very exciting. And very happy times or dissappointing times for someone’s fans.

  6. Charles

    September 15, 2010 at 2:27 pm

    Toronto almost HAS to beat SLC to have a chance to make the playoffs.

    It would be one thing to say they only need to catch Seattle…and they play them later. Quite another when you throw Chicago and KC in the mix, both of who I think are ahead of them.

    Very doubtful they make it.

    BTW, have Toronto fans seen Chivas fall off a cliff this year without Preki ? Good luck next year.

    • SSReporters

      September 16, 2010 at 12:11 pm

      You do realize that was a Champions League match, right? We lost 4-1.

      Good riddance to Mo and anyone associated with him. We are awful and probably equal to the Union at this point.

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