Sounders waive Cooper, Montreal Impact express interest

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.

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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.

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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?

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Seattle Sounders flex attacking muscles in 5-0 win over UCLA

The Seattle Sounders got their preseason preparations off to the perfect start with a 5-0 win against UCLA in California last night, with all four strikers that featured finding the net.

Head coach Sigi Schmid started with a strong lineup that included Stefan Frei, Tyrone Mears, Chad Marshall, Brad Evans, Marco Pappa and Gonzalo Pineda.

Obafemi Martins and Lamar Neagle partnered one and other up top and both got themselves on the scoresheet in the first 45 minutes.

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An entirely different team came out for the second-half as Schmid made eleven changes at the break but the performance levels didn’t drop as Seattle went on to score three more.

Second-half forwards Chad Barrett and Kenny Cooper both scored with midfielder Michael Azira finishing off the rout for last year’s MLS Supporters’ Shield winners.

“It’s always good when forwards score goals,” Sigi Schmid said after the game. “It always makes them happy but it was the quality of the goals that was important.”

The Sounders will stay in California until the end of the week, where they now look ahead to facing Western Conference rivals LA Galaxy on Friday.

Seattle will then travel out to Tucson, Arizona for the Desert Diamond Cup where they will play four matches to finalise preparations for the 2015 season which begins on March 6.

The Sounders take on the New England Revolution on the opening weekend on Sunday March 8.

Will the Seattle Sounders win the Western Conference again this year?