FRISCO - FC Dallas continued their busy summer transfer window on Monday, acquiring forward Dominique Badji from the Colorado Rapids. In just his fourth professional season, let’s get you caught up on the newest member of the FCD family.
After a career-high nine goals and 33 appearances in 2017, Badji has continued his momentum over the opening half of 2018. Already with seven goals to his name in 16 appearances, the 25-year-old led the Rapids in scoring before being acquired by Dallas. He has improved year-over-year in every major statistical category since his debut in 2015 and recently scored his first career hat trick in a 3-0 win over Philadelphia on April 1.
CLEANING UP IN FRONT
Badji isn’t the flashiest of strikers and often gets overlooked among the MLS attacking crop, but he gets the job done in front of goal at an incredible rate (0.41 goals-per-90 thus far in 2018). Relying heavily on his speed, the forward is a major threat on the counter and if you find him inside the 18 with a cross, he’s got a good chance of finding the back of the net - even with defenders on his back. At 6-foot tall, Badji wins aerial duals at a rate of over 40 percent in his career, but has just one goal via header in MLS play. Instead, he strikes equally with either foot, logging 10 left-footed goals and 12 right-footed goals in league action since joining Colorado.
Currently back in his native Senegal obtaining his green card, Badji is expected to join Dallas next week and could make his FCD debut as early as Aug. 4 as Dallas hosts the San Jose Earthquakes. As the club hits the final three months of the regular season, the striker won't count as an international roster spot and will provide a late-season scoring boost to the Western Conference’s top team.
Born in Dakar, Senegal, Badji lived in Tanzania and Zimbabwe before leaving behind his father and younger brother as a teenager to attend boarding school at Episcopal High School in Alexandria, Va. From there, Badji spent four seasons at Boston University, scoring 22 goals in 69 games. Colorado drafted the forward with the Fourth Round of the 2015 MLS SuperDraft (67th overall).
Badji was born in Senegal and his father was a translator. His dad befriended a Peace Corps volunteer. That volunteer helped Badji and his family move with her to Tanzania and then Zimbabwe. That volunteer then moved back to the US when Dom was 16 and he decided to go with her.— Mike Donovan (@TheMikeDonovan) July 23, 2018
Though he'd never played organized soccer, he joined his school's team and became a star, catching the attention of Boston University. At BU, he eventually became Patriot League Offensive Player of the Year. A massive accomplishment but he was never expected to land as a pro.— Mike Donovan (@TheMikeDonovan) July 23, 2018
Badji scored off the charts at the 2015 MLS combine and he was selected with the 67th pick to the Rapids. A heckuva accomplishment to be drafted though 4th round picks rarely ever stick in the league.— Mike Donovan (@TheMikeDonovan) July 23, 2018
But Badji did stick. His first goal came a month into the 2015 season when he broke a 600-minute scoreless streak for Colorado. Since he was drafted, Badji has led the Rapids in goals (24) and assists (12).— Mike Donovan (@TheMikeDonovan) July 23, 2018
FOR CLUB, FOR COUNTRY
Although Badji has not represented his native Senegal on the international stage, his passion for soccer in his home country and just what their performance means to the people there. Just last month, he wrote a column for in the Denver Post about his humble beginnings and what his country’s appearance in the 2002 World Cup meant for him and millions of others. Check it out here.