By Sandy Beeson – Twitter: @Sandy_Beeson
Having helped Seattle Sounders lift the Supporters’ Shield in 2014, Kenny Cooper is now facing the prospect of finding a new club and lining up for a fifth team in MLS having been waived from Seattle’s roster.
Despite recording his lowest goal tally in MLS, albeit in just 12 appearances, the striker played a key role in the Sounders’ success last year with game-winning goals against Columbus Crew, Cascadia rivals Portland Timbers and Cooper’s former side FC Dallas, helping to secure a first Supporters’ Shield title for Seattle.
After spending a full preseason with the Sounders, Cooper was left out of the matchday squad by coach Sigi Schmid for the team’s opening fixtures and was conspicuous in his absence from training this past week. It is likely that Cooper’s usefulness to the squad was seen to be outweighed by his comparatively large $200,000 salary with speculation that this is a move by Sounders to create more cap space for an impending move.
MLSsoccer.com state that Cooper is eligible for the Waiver Draft but, theoretically, if he was to clear waivers he would presumably be eligible for free agency, which came into effect as part of this year’s Collective Bargaining Agreement.
One club who have already expressed an interest in Cooper are the Montreal Impact, a side currently lacking in forward options, particularly after the news that CONCACAF Champions League hero Cameron Porter will likely miss the entire 2015 season with an ACL injury.
Cooper, who speaks fondly of brief spells at both Oldham Athletic and Plymouth Argyle earlier in his career, not to mention two years spent with Premier League giants Manchester United, would provide an experienced option for any team willing to take on his salary.
Named as part of the MLS Best XI in 2008, Cooper has 75 MLS career goals in 210 appearances.
Would Kenny Cooper be a good signing for the Montreal Impact?