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. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/football/africa/7301308.stm
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.