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Wednesday, November 24, 2010
MLS CUP: Kandji's diagnosis: torn ACL

By Scott French

Turns out the winning goal in Sunday's MLS Cup final was as costly for Macoumba Kandji as it was for FC Dallas.

The Senegal-born forward, who was hurt as he created the winning goal in the 107th minute of the Colorado Rapids' 2-1 overtime victory in Toronto, received his diagnosis Tuesday: torn anterior cruciate ligament. It'll likely sideline him until next July or August.

Kandji came off the bench to lift the Rapids to their first MLS Cup title, beating FC Dallas defender Jair Benitez on the right byline, then outreaching Ugo Ihemelu to toe-poke the ball toward the goalmouth, with championship-game MVP Conor Casey hovering near the far post.

Ihemelu fell onto Kandji as he hit the ball, which ricocheted off Dallas defender George John's thigh and inside the right post. Kandji was helped off the field, and Colorado played with just 10 men for the final 13 minutes.

“He sat on me,” a jouyous Kandji said as his Rapids teammates celebrated around him in their BMO Field locker room Sunday night. “He sat on my leg, so I kind of hyperextended [my left knee]. I really don't know what happened, because I was just trying to reach for the ball to toe it in. … Then I tried to get up, but I couldn't.”

Asked if there was any better way to get injured, he said: “It's the best way ever!”

Kandji, acquired in September from the New York Red Bulls, was on the Rapids' protected list for Wednesday's MLS Expansion Draft.