Monday, January 21, 2008

African Soccer With an American Twist

The African Cup of Nations - the continental championship for African national soccer teams - got underway this past weekend in Ghana. Last week, the New York Times profiled Senegal goalkeeper Bounda Coundoul, who came to the United States to play college soccer and now plies his trade in Major League Soccer. He's made quite an impression:

Coundoul made his international debut for Senegal in November, playing the second half in a 3-2 victory over Mali in Paris. In M.L.S. last season, Coundoul endeared himself to fans in Colorado when he arrived for the season opener at the Rapids’ new stadium dressed in traditional Senegalese garb.

He played all 30 regular-season games for the club, finishing third among the league’s goalkeepers with a 1.08 goals against average. He also had nine shutouts.

During a television interview, he coined a catchphrase, calling his passage 'Bouna Time!'
Bouna Time restarts in MLS on March 29, when the Rapids host the LA Galaxy in their 2008 MLS season opener.

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