Let's not be too picky. The man made a great run, and yes, he should've and could've finished, but all you can ask him to do after all that is put it on goal. Who knows, maybe there's an easy rebound, the red bulls had numbers there.
Loc: Miramar, FL, USA
Kandji cover in case Cummings leaves Rapids?
Acquisition of Senegalese F could plug hole in Colorado offense Nick Thomas MLSsoccer.com September 14, 2010 El delantero Macoumba Kandji aún indeciso para jugar por Senegal o Gambia. Rapids head coach Gary Smith believes Mac Kandji (above) is a similar player to Omar Cummings. (Getty Images)
COMMERCE CITY, Colo. – The Colorado Rapids and the New York Red Bulls had been talking about a possible trade involving Macoumba Kandji and Mehdi Ballouchy for about a month. For Gary Smith, though, his interest in Kandji goes much further back.
The Rapids head coach told MLSsoccer.com that he had been interested in the Senegalese forward since his time with the Atlanta Silverbacks in USL-1.
“It’s always been uppermost in my mind to try and add him if at all possible,” Smith said. “He’s very athletic, very pacy and has the individual ability to create a lot of opportunities.”
READ: Rapids get Kandji from New York in Ballouchy deal
The question remains: Where does Kandji fit in? He’s much more of an out-and-out forward than Ballouchy, who has typically played as a creative midfielder. Smith sees comparisons with Omar Cummings in the style Kandji plays and is clear that the young striker could take the Jamaican’s place if offers come in for Cummings from abroad.
While Kandji will definitely see some game time on an immediate basis, the move may be more of a strategic one in that it is paving the way for someone to eventually take the place of Cummings.
Cummings has already had approaches from several clubs and his red hot form makes such approaches even more likely. Smith is ready to make a deal if it is the right approach.
“Omar’s attracting a lot of attention and it’s not out of the realms of possibility,” Smith said of such a possible deal. “[Kandji] is a similar player. We have been searching for somebody that can achieve what Omar can do.”
If Cummings, who has two years left on his current Rapids contract, does stay until the end of the season in Colorado, Smith said he envisages the possibility of him, Kandji and Conor Casey playing as an attacking threesome, particularly at home. If Smith employs just two forwards, there could be some rotation of the three players going on in the run-in to the playoffs.
On the other side of the deal, Ballouchy was a little shocked at the trade, according to Smith. But the coach thinks the Moroccan will do well in New York, and the Colorado coaching staff all valued Ballouchy’s contribution.
READ: Red Bulls finally get their playmaker in Ballouchy
“I think he’s done a wonderful job for me and has continued to improve,” said Smith. “He’s played a lot of football. His value was always very much understood inside the changing room and maybe sometimes not elsewhere.”
Despite Ballouchy's contributions in the Rockies, Mark Bodmer, head of Rapids supporters group Class VI, said the player always suffered in Colorado because of the trade that brought him to the team. The Rapids swapped popular midfielder Kyle Beckerman for the Moroccan in a deal with rivals Real Salt Lake in 2007.
“Although he was playing pretty well this season, he was always behind the eight ball with the fans here,” said Bodmer. “He never seemed to be able to shake off that [Beckerman] stigma.”
Loc: Miramar, FL, USA
Coming into his own - Reggae Boy Cummings finds the golden touch
GORDON WILLIAMS, Star Writer
Omar Cummings - File
A thunderous left-footer from 30 yards may have stunned his New York Red Bulls opponents last Saturday, but international football observers probably weren't surprised.
Only days earlier, Colorado Rapids striker Omar Cummings had scored a similar wonder goal for Jamaica against Peru in Florida. With the Reggae Boyz trailing early from an own goal, Cummings sent a sizzling 25-yard right foot drive into the South Americans' net mid way the first half.
In recent weeks, goals have come with regularity for the 28-year-old St Catherine native, and rivals in Major League Soccer (MLS), North America's top football competition, have been the frequent victims. Saturday's tally gave Cummings nine for 2010 in 23 regular season games, with seven to go. That's his best output since entering MLS in 2007, when he was named Colorado's Rookie of the Year.
The resurgence, according to Cummings, can be traced to a tactical adjustment by Colorado. The club returned the Jamaican to his most effective position, where in 2009 he scored a career-best eight goals and tied for most assists in MLS with 12.
"It's kinda crazy where last year I was playing more forward, in a 4-4-2 formation up front with (Connor) Casey and this year we kinda changed it with him up front and me more out wide," he explained last week while with the Reggae Boyz.
"Since we've gone back to the 4-4-2, things kinda work out better I'm just relieved and happy to be in front of goal, running at people and running at the goal and getting more opportunities." The speedy Cummings has scored four goals in his last three MLS games, including two against Chivas USA on September 4 and another against Houston Dynamo a week earlier.
For the first Chivas goal he swivelled by defenders then blasted a low shot into the corner. With the second, Cummings broke down the left flank and lifted a shot past the goalkeeper. A MLS beat reporter described the goals as "two bits of individual class". Cummings was named Player of the Week for that performance, the first Colorado player to earn the honour in a year.
Jamaica will need that form in coming months, defending the Digicel Caribbean Cup beginning November, plus World Cup qualifiers and possibly the Gold Cup next year. The competition for striker spots is heating up, with Luton Shelton, Ricardo Fuller, Nicholas Addlery, Ryan Johnson, Devon Hodges and Kavin Bryan among those in contention. Cummings is eager to establish himself as Jamaica's target man, but admits it won't be easy.
"I would absolutely love to step into a permanent role," he said. "(But there's) a lot of talent up front." As his 2009 MLS assist record indicates, Cummings, who has four goals in 16 appearances for Jamaica, is capable of facilitating goals with the national team as well. However, he has failed to notch a single assist this MLS season.
Either way, Cummings is just anxious to fit in with the Boyz. Regardless of his rising status in MLS, and although being surprisingly snubbed by voters for the league's all-star team, he knows there are no guarantees with Jamaica.
"You may be one of the superstars of your club and you come into the national team, you could be just another player," he explained.
"So you just come in here and whatever you get you take, basically. It's humbling. It's definitely humbling."
January transfer window, he needs to get out as it open. Too much money out there for a productive player like him. If him go a better league and then it don't work out playing time wise, him can go back to MLS after him contract finish like Scott Sealy did.
Loc: Miramar, FL, USA
Colorado TD Bravo says Cummings not for sale
Rapids want to keep Jamaican striker for rest of his career Nate Sulat MLSsoccer.com December 2, 2010 Jamaican Omar Cummings is bundles up tight in Toronto. (Getty Images)
Omar Cummings’ scintillating play this season – 14 goals, three assists for the Colorado Rapids – has drawn interest from suitors abroad. But it seems that the Jamaican isn’t going anywhere.
“For us as a club, our stance is that Omar is not for sale,” Rapids technical director Paul Bravo told MLSsoccer.com by phone on Thursday. “We’re going to do everything that we can to try and keep him in Denver for the rest of his career.”
Speculation that the striker might be leaving the club increased this week when José Luis Sánchez Solá, manager of Mexican club Estudiantes Tecos, said on Monday that he would like Cummings to fill the open international player slot on his roster.
“We understand that there are rumors out there that are floating around,” Bravo said. “We’ve not seen anything concrete, and we’ll move forward with trying to take care of Omar.”
The 28-year-old striker led the Rapids in goals this season, and added two assists in the playoffs to help Colorado to their first-ever MLS Cup title. Cummings had been linked to Mexican club Necaxa earlier in the season after an outburst that saw him score seven goals in five games for the club.
“From a contractual standpoint, I think he’s got two years left on his contract, so we’ve got nothing to worry about there,” Bravo said. “Our plan is to keep Omar.”
There is nothing that you have to honor in the world of football. MLS is a cut throat league, just like any other league. If they found him useless tomorrow, they would make an expansion team pick him up or cut him. Force them hand NOW, while your stock is high. Or he can wait 2 more years until he is in his thirties and no one wants to offer him a big multi year deal.