Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Bouna To Miss Rapids Games?

Fan favorite, goalkeeper Bouna Coundoul, looks set to miss a big chunk of Colorado Rapids games in May and June because of Senegal national team duties. Senegal are due to play a series of World Cup qualifiers both at home and in other parts of West Africa in June. The team is scheduled to play four games against Algeria, Gambia and Liberia (twice). This could mean Bouna missing Rapids games against Chivas (May 24), Dallas (June 1), LA (June 7), Toronto (June 14) and Houston (June 21). He would also miss the game against Dallas in September and again against LA in October because of the two remaining Senegal games. Here is the BBC link to the details of the Senegal fixtures.
This will be a big wrench to the team. Bouna told me at training today that he had spoken with the Senegal coach this very morning and it now looks certain he will go. After all, he did finish the recent Africa Cup of Nations tournament as the number one choice for Senegal and he played a blinder against South Africa. So, how to fill the void he will leave? This makes it even more important for Justin Hughes to get himself fit again. He needs to get some game time under his belt because that will be a challenging stretch of games for him in June. Also, he can't be guaranteed to walk straight into the team, especially given the surprises that have come with the starting line-up so far this season. The Rapids also have two league goalkeepers on the books in Chris Sharpe and Mike Gracyk. These guys are good, as they say in the golf commercials. More competition in the squad but this should be welcomed. We wish Justin a speedy return to fitness because he is looking at a bigger run in the team than many may have expected.


Anonymous said...

Well, good for Bouna, because he deserves the plaudits and the national team exposure. But this would seem to me to pretty much seal his fate with the Rapids; you have to think that a foreign club is going to grab him with his pittance of a salary, especially after his strong showing in MLS and the African Cup. I still don't see how the Rapids can justify the salaries of Conor Casey or Nico Colaluca while Bouna is shown no love at all. Fans here love Bouna, the Rapids better tread cautiously.

Nick Thomas said...

I wholeheartedly agree Joey. He is out of contract at the end of this season and he is too good to just wait around. The Rapids would have to significantly raise his salary to keep him but I don't see it. The only thing that may stop him going is the lack of scouting done by European clubs re the MLS. I don't see that many MLS players, apart from national team players and goalkeepers, going over to Europe. The scouts were in abundance, however, at the Africa Cup of Nations plus nearly all of the Senegal squad play in either France or England and I'm sure they will have words with their clubs about Bouna.

johncos said...

As a sports fan I have always disliked the business aspect. I know it is naive of me but I don't really care who makes how much money. I just hope that the FO knows that Bouna is indeed a fan favorite and that it is actually in their best interest to invest in players that not only perform on the field but also help the fans "connect" to the team and the team "connect" to the community. Bouna has got it all and I can only hope that the Rapid's FO do the right things and INVEST in the team, the fans, the community and in Bouna Coundoul... please!