Posts Tagged ‘Kenny Cooper’

Sooper Dooper Stumptown Cooper

Jay Bell speaks with Kenny Cooper upon his return from Munich

Once upon a time Kenny Cooper was on a career path unlike any American player before him.

Kenny Cooper on the approach...

Young Kenny Cooper left America for Manchester United and later returned to star for his hometown team, FC Dallas. Ever a fringe player for the national team, Cooper departed from MLS in search of new challenges in Germany. Cooper began playing for TSV 1860 Munich in torrid form. He eventually cooled off before a string of injuries limited him to very little action over the last 16 months.

Now Cooper is on a path akin to another American forward, Charlie Davies. Both have returned to America to try to resurrect their club careers after injuries have taken them out of the game for the last 18 months. He joins one of the most ambitious teams in America and a rivalry unlike any other in MLS.

TSG was lucky to be able to talk with Kenny about his injuries, Portland, Dallas and getting back with the US national team right before the season.

Here’s the account:

TSG: What was your mindset when you transferred to Munich?

Kenny Cooper (KC): Well, at the time, I thought it was a great opportunity for me. Munich is a fantastic city and I was at a club that has an amazing history, a lot of tradition and a lot of fans. It was a great experience to be a part of 1860.

TSG: How did you feel about the string of injuries you encountered when you were there?

KC: I know injuries are part of the game. Obviously I would have liked to have played more than I did when I was over there, but I accept injuries as part of the game. Hopefully they are behind me now.

TSG: Do you feel like you pressed yourself too hard when you went on loan to Plymouth?

KC: I don’t know if I ever looked at it that way. At the time I think I may have felt it was the best thing for me to do. Unfortunately, I didn’t play as much as I would have liked to. Life goes on and I am here in Portland now and really happy to be here.

TSG: Do you think you learned anything about yourself or your game going to Europe?

KC: I said before that I know what it is like to play in your hometown and have a comfort zone with friends and family around, just be familiar with a lot of things around you. After moving to Germany, I also know what it is like to be a foreigner and to not know the main language.

I hope these different experiences, playing abroad and playing at home, I hope that they will help to make me a better player and a better person. Hopefully now I can relate better to all of my teammates in the future whether they are Portland natives or whether they are from out of the country and can’t speak English. Hopefully after living in Germany and playing in my hometown, I hope that I can better relate to all of my teammates.

Cooper, The Return...

TSG: What all went into the decision to return to MLS?

KC: Well, I spent 4 years in the league in my hometown, Dallas. I really enjoyed it. Its a great league, there is a lot of great quality in it and its a league that has grown and grown. Its a great opportunity to be a part of the Portland Timbers and their inaugural MLS season. I think it is a unique opportunity to be a part of a team’s first season in the league, but it is also a team that has history behind it and a lot of fans.

Its a really exciting time for the team and there is a real love for the game here in the city. Portland has embraced the game really well and they have embraced the team really well. As a player, it is really exciting to be a part of that.

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Say It Ain’t So Kenny!

UPDATE: Our luck is turning! Coops out only 3 weeks. Can you feel it turning?

—–

Can the USMNT stop dropping like flies? Please.

The TSG brothers had this unfortunate exchange this evening.

Kenny Coops, shelved?

Mark: “Kenny Cooper may have blown out his knee.”

Matt: “Are you kidding me?! So disheartening. I can’t take it anymore…I don’t want to live.”

(Well, that last part about “living” may have been absent.)

Mark: “If that’s the case, I’m leading the campaign to shut down our top 18 until May.”

To the best of current reports, USMNT hopeful and FC Dallas alum–wait why wasn’t he stationed in Slovakia and Denmark this week–Kenny Cooper may be out, for awhile. Coops is rumored to have blown out his ACL in practice. For a striker in particular, that is not best injury to sustain.

We’ll update you when there is official news, let’s just hope it doesn’t become official

A few weeks ago, Sunil Gulati made an excellent point in the press that we’ll reproduce here as the context present itself..

“We don’t have a lot of players playing at Man U and Barcelona,”

“We’re getting there. Those are some of the best clubs in the world, and it’s not like we have a lot of players playing there, so for people’s expectations to be that we’re going to go out and play like that, or have a high-level performance every time, it’s not the case.”

Gulati’s comments ring even more true as some of the USMNT’s most talented players continue to suffer from injuries. Whereas a team like England has a Joleon Lescott to fill in for a Rio Ferdinand, a team like Brazil can turn to Pato or the Hulk for striking power and a team like France can turn to Alou Diarra with Jeremy Toulalan battling fitness concerns, the USMNT does not have the same luxury.

Not now and not lurking in the ranks.

Let’s hope the run of unfortunate circumstances ends in 2009 and stops just short of something major to Coops. Let’s hope we don’t have to cross him of the striker-in-need list just yet.

Maybe we just need to keep a little horse placenta around?

US Troops to Honduras: Coops & Conrad, Hiya

Welcome back William Dafoe, I mean, JC!

Welcome back William Dafoe, I mean, JC!


The roster you “won’t” be seeing on free TV on 10/10

• G: Tim Howard, Brad Guzan

• D: Carlos Bocanegra, Jonathan Bornstein, Steve Cherundolo, Jimmy Conrad, Clarence Goodson, Oguchi Onyewu, Jonathan Spector

• M: Michael Bradley, Ricardo Clark, Clint Dempsey, Benny Feilhaber, Stu Holden, Robbie Rogers, Jose Francisco Torres

• F: Jozy Altidore, Conor Casey, Brian Ching, Charlie Davies, Landon Donovan



Quick reaction:

• It pays to play….and deliver. Kenny Coops back in the fold.

• The usual characters in midfield. Robbie Rogers makes it again. If the US can take care of business in Honduras, then we might see Bradley investigate the back-up left flank in D.C. with either Rogers or Torres.

• For all the hype, no Edgar Castillo call-up–not that it was expected.

• TSG Wing of the Hall-of-Fame namesake, Jimmy Conrad makes the squad. See first bulletpoint. Get that knee better Chad Marshall.

Fan Stats: Jones, Hedjuk…and Nguyen?

We’re rolling up our two polls today at the close of the halfway mark of round four of World Cup qualifying. The poll questions seem apropos.

Nguyen in action

Nguyen in action

What better intro than Lee Nguyen. Tucked into the “other” category for our first poll, “What absent USMNT player are you most interested in seeing on the pitch?” was a single write-in vote for Lee Nguyen–I think that’s the first time I heard his name since I saw him sub in for the US of A at Spartan Stadium in 2007.

Nguyen is a US U-23 rostered player who just missed the cut for the 2008 Beijing Olympics. He is currently playing in Vietnam after a cup of coffee at PSV Eindhoven (DaMarcus Beasley is an alum of the club). Nguyen is having a more than solid year with 12 and 16 through 24 games. More on Nguyen at Goal.com.

Nguyen plays like a mishmash of Shaun Wright Phillips, Jose Francisco Torres and Ji-Sung Park. Very staccato like moves, can keep attack in possession, and an indefatigable motor. Wow, I think someone just gave TSG our darkhorse Aaron Lennon-Jermaine Defoe-Theo Walcott X factor…though not in time for 2010. We’ll follow-up more on Nguyen at another point.

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TSG Weekend Questions: Globetrotting

Unfortunately, due to some commitments, I had little time to watch and play as much soccer as I usually do on the weekend.

US against Mex: 1 SOG, Cooper for 1860 Munich? 7

US against Mex: 1 SOG, Cooper for Munich? 7

A big thank you for our guest commentator Shaun and to the commentary that our fans have added here on the site, Rayment, Kevin, Matthew, etc.

As Mark mentioned, we’ll be getting a Commentary Hall of Face going so don’t be shy and who knows you may win something.

Here’s a just a few tidbits of plots that I found intriguing this weekend with a smaller dose of the sport than usual:

Soccer at Home

- C’mon ESPN…are you kidding me? No win for the U.S. Wednesday and the coverage of US roundball and global soccer in general takes a nose-dive on 1st page promotion on ESPN.com — one more time, are you kidding me? ESPN.com at about 20M “unique users” (internet speak for “viewers”) is the largest sports site in the United States and looked at as the authority in sports reporting in America. Yet with EPL season starting (remember: ESPN is hosting a series of games), a compelling post-Mexico US story, the college season starting (TSG will be attending games for 30th ranked USF this year) and MLS back in full swing, not a single soccer story could muster itself to the first page.

Meanwhile your TV brethren had a feature on the Premiership at Drogba’s goal included in Plays of the Week.

Shame on you ESPN.com. It’s your ratings, not ours.

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Kenny Cooper to…Bundesliga 2

Beer and football, perfect together

Beer and football, perfect together

News out of Dallas this morning is that USMNT member and South Africa ’10 hopeful, Kenny Cooper is headed to 1860 Munich of the Bundesliga 2.

My brother refers to Cooper as “my boy,” but the reality is that I just like that he is a true striker. And Mark, everyone knows that Benny Feilhaber…well that adoration piece is coming shortly.

Cooper, for his part,  wants the ball and he wants ownership of the goal scoring responsibility. In contrast, Landon Donovan has much more skill (and plays in a different way), but really has never taken that onus until the Confederation Cup this year.

I think the Bundesliga is going to be an excellent and crucial fit for Cooper. While the exposure is not the same as some of the other European leagues, the Bundesliga boasts a very high level of technical soccer. Further, the cross–see: Michael Ballack–and header is just as big in that league as it is in the English leagues.

Is Coops a Carew in hiding?

Is Coops a Carew in hiding?

Speaking of the English leagues, while Cooper was unable to hack it at Manchester United where he had a trial out of college, I’m curious why none of the team (maybe they did?) pursued him.

If Kenny can improve his technical proficiency, I think there are correlaries to such noted EPL strikers as John Carew and to a lesser extent, Peter Crouch.

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