[AFRICAN NATIONS CUP]
Senegal called up Colorado Rapids goalkeeper Bouna Coundoul
for the 2008 African Nations Cup
that begins Jan. 20 in Ghana.
The 25-year-old Coundoul made his debut for Senegal against Mali in a friendly game in France two months and only learned of his call-up for the African
finals when he read about it in a newspaper.
He arrived Dec. 31 in Dakar, where his parents reside, and was the first player to show up at the Lions of Teranga training camp, working on
his own with goalkeeper coach Mandiaty Fall
for two days. Senegal opens against Tunisia on Jan. 23.
"It's a dream of all Senegalese players to take
part in the African Nations Cup," Coundoul told the Senegalese newspaper Le Quotidien
"Up until now, I've been
in front of my television watching the African Nations Cup. Now, I'll be in the heart of the event."
He was born in Dakar and came into the United
States in 1997. He lived in the Bronx with his three older brothers, Amadou
and Abe Coundoul
and attended New York high school power Martin Luther King Jr. High School.
After attending Albany University, Coundoul joined the Rapids in 2005. He played his
first MLS game in 2006 and took over as the starter in 2007 following the departure of Joe Cannon
to Los Angeles. Coundoul played all but 32 minutes for the
Rapids in 2007 and finished third in Major League Soccer with a goals against average of 1.08.
Coundoul's former Colorado teammate, Alain Nkong
who now plays for 2007 Mexican Apertura champion, is on Cameroon's short list for the 2008 African Nations Cup.
Another ex-Rapid, Junior Agogo
now plays for English third-level club Nottingham Forest, will represent Ghana.