ATLANTA, GA – Striker Macoumba (Mac) Kandji has joined the MLS’ New York Red Bulls on loan until at least the end of the 2008 MLS Season for an undisclosed fee, pending USSF approval. The New York Red Bulls will have the option to make the move permanent by purchasing the Senegalese striker prior to December 15th, 2008.
Kandji, who is under contract with the Silverbacks until the end of 2010, was earmarked by many as a top prospect likely to make a jump from the USL First Division to MLS or a foreign league. Since the beginning of the season the Silverbacks had been speaking with various clubs around the world interested in Kandji. As well, ESPN Soccernet featured Kandji as the league's top prospect in early August.
The loan comes at a pivotal time for the Silverbacks as they battle for the final playoff spot. With only two games left in the season the Silverbacks find themselves sitting in eighth place, with only the top 7 making the playoff cut. Although Kandji would have been unavailable to travel to Puerto Rico, he would have surely been a threat against
Miami in the final game of the season.
“The timing of this is unfortunate for our playoff hunt,” said Atlanta Silverbacks General Manager Michael Oki, “but we had to take into account what this opportunity meant for Mac as well.”
“Mac and I spoke earlier in the season about his desire to play at the highest level possible. As much as we hate to see him go, we know this is what is best for him.”
In only 21 games, Kandji had 11 goals and 5 assists for the season. He was listed to the USL-1 Best XI five times during the 2008 campaign, twice being named USL-1 Player of the week. Kandji also earned the Goal of the Week honors, and had the highest points per game of any player in the league (1.29)
New York hopes to have Kandji available for play on Thursday September 18th, for their game against the Columbus Crew.
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