You no doubt remember this date well as a die-hard or even a casual supporter of the Rapids. In what is or has to be the worst trades in not only Rapids history but MLS history. On this date ten years ago, came the trade of Kyle Beckerman to hated rival RSL for Moroccan born midfielder Medhi Ballouchy. Who? This trade even 10 years later still baffles many supporters.
Ballouchy was a former Rapids U23 player and the 2nd pick overall of the 2006 draft by that “other team” in the mountain time zone. A draft that also featured notables, Sasha Kljestan, Jozy Altidore, Kei Kamara, Dax McCarty and Marvell Wynne.
Quotes about the trade from coloradorapids.com.
“The Rapids are excited to add another attacking option to the team in Mehdi Ballouchy. “He will bring a youthful creativity to Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.” – Fernando Clavijo
Prior to the trade Ballouchy appeared in 46 games for RSL, 40 starts with 2 goals and 2 assists. So much for creativity I guess. While Beckerman scored 7 goals and 2 assists for the Rapids in 2006 and was a USMNT member.
“We are very sad to part with an outstanding player and outstanding human being in Kyle but that was the price required to acquire one of the most valuable assets in MLS.” – Rapids General Manager Charlie Wright
Clearly the RFO didnt know what they were doing or saying with this quote.
Quotes from July 27, 2007 article from denverpost.com
“I don’t buy it at all.” “Me and Pablo were in Colorado for five years playing together. Why, all of a sudden, did it not work out? And you look at our stats, me and the guy I was traded for, I have more goals than him.” – Kyle Beckerman.
“Hopefully, he will flourish even more under someone else and in a different structure where he’s going to be the man.” – Fernando Clavijo
No truer words has Clavijo spoken, as he must be from the future.
Looking back at the last 10 seasons, it’s needless to say but I will say it anyway. The Rapids DID NOT get the better of this trade. Beckerman who is nearing the end of his playing career has been more than solid since the trade as well as the face of that franchise. And let’s not forget his time with the US National team with 58 caps.
Ballouchy played for 6 clubs in 11 seasons, scoring 16 goals in 212 appearances. Ballouchy announced his retirement after the 2016 season from NYCFC and most recently joined the club as a coach for the U15s.
Clearly both clubs have had experienced their share of successes and failures since the trade ten years ago. The rivalry that is the Rocky Mountain Cup was more fierce then than it has been as of late. We’ve seen the RFO make some questionable moves to the roster in recent years(cough cough Zat Knight) but nothing comes close to what transpired 10 years ago. This move will forever link both clubs as a bad trade at least from a burgundy perspective.