COMMERCE CITY, Colo. — Macoumba Kandji is back with the Colorado Rapids this preseason, but just how long will he stay?
The Rapids striker told MLSsoccer.com last week that he spent part of his offseason in Europe exploring options there, and that he’s keeping the door open to a potential transfer abroad sometime this year.
Kandji, who was one of the heroes of the Rapids’ title run two seasons ago, appeared in just nine games last season after returning from a torn ACL suffered on his game-winning goal in MLS Cup in 2010.
“My cousin lives in Amsterdam so I was there visiting and talking to [teams] because my plan was to play overseas,” Kandi said. “It was easier just to stay out there taking care of that, but it was taking a little bit too long so I came back.”
With the international transfer window recently closed, Kandji will join his Colorado teammates in California for preseason and exhibition matches before returning home to Denver. While he is visibly happy to be back on the pitch, Kandji admits he’s keeping the door open to the idea of playing elsewhere.
“The Scandanavian countries are open until Feb. 15," he said. "I’m still under contract with MLS, so that’s why I’m not worried about that now. If [a transfer] happens, it happens.”
Kandji was not part of the lineup during a midweek practice last week, but rather was involved on the adjacent field in some intense finishing drills in front of goal with a handful of younger players.
“I didn’t see my name on the board for training, but [head coach Oscar Pareja] made it clear that it’s not about [a transfer], he just wanted me to catch up a little bit,” Kandji said. “Everybody has been very honest with me and talking me through this.”
As of now, Kandji is very much in the Rapids plans, especially given the fact that Pareja is looking towards a more attacking style and Kandji likely would be a vital weapon.
Add in the fact that fellow forward Caleb Folan was recently released, and Conor Casey will be getting back to full-strength the next month, it is even more apparent that Kandji’s attacking and finishing skills will be important to start the MLS season.
“I’m focused on getting ready for the season wherever I am,” he said. “[In Colorado], somewhere else, I just want to play. It doesn’t matter where you put me, I want to give 110 percent and give you everything I have so I’m happy.”