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The Beckerman-Ballouchy connection

September 15, 2010 | 10:02 pm No comments
By Shaun Schafer

The Tuesday trade of Mehdi Ballouchy to New York ended the Colorado Rapids experiment that was born in the 2007 swap of Ballouchy for fan favorite Kyle Beckerman.

For the Thursday list, we look at the paths the two players have taken and the way their teams have performed since that switch more than three years ago.

Ballouchy and Beckerman since the 2007 trade:

Player                                      Year      Games    Starts       Goals        Assists  

Ballouchy                                2007          9              8              1                 2           

                                                  2008         19             12            1                 4           

                                                  2009          28            23            2                 7          

                                                  2010           21            19            3                 5           

 

Player                                      Year      Games    Starts       Goals        Assists         

Beckerman                             2007            15            14           2                 1            

                                                  2008           30            30          3                  2          

                                                  2009            25            25         3                  2            

                                                   2010          16              16          2                  3           

Since the trade, Beckerman’s Real Salt Lake side has made the playoffs twice, won the MLS Cup and looks likely to be in the playoffs again. Ballouchy’s Rapids have missed the playoffs three years in a row, and the team is scrambling to hold on to a spot this season.

Of course, one player does not make all the difference in either case. Ballouchy saw his playing time increase, especially after Gary Smith replaced Fernando Clavijo as coach, until he became a regular facet of the Rapids. Beckerman was critical to Salt Lake from his first game, maturing into the captain of a defending MLS champion side.

Ultimately, the trade brought Salt Lake a full-time starter and a critical cog. While it took longer in Colorado, the same thing happened with Ballouchy and the Rapids.

Still, it’s hard not to feel that the 2007 move was a failure. It took until the addition of Jeff Larentowicz this year to find the right combination with Pablo Mastroeni in the center of the Rapids midfield. Ballouchy lost the timidity that characterized his first two seasons in Colorado, but never made anyone forget the fiery Beckerman.

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