Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Kenny Cooper Class Act (and Smart Guy)

FC Dallas' striker Kenny Cooper, a man who though he was on his way to Europe (Cardiff or Rosenborg?) for a few million dollars and then found himself told by his club that he was not for sale, has demonstrated a classiness second to none.

Instead of sulking and whining, what has Cooper done--scored four goals in two games, putting himself in a tie at the top of the Golden Boot standings with Landon Donovan, and helped his team to a five game unbeaten streak and improved his team's record to a stellar 18-1-6 record when he scores. Cooper has been named MLS player to the week for the second week in a row.

Maybe he took Michaal Hitchcock's words to heart, that he (Cooper) is a vital part of the team (no kidding) and it is hoped that he can lead Dallas to the playoffs and MLS Cup. Dallas has had more playoff appearances than any MLS Club, and given their play of late, I think they will make the second season. I still don't think they will win (they would have to beat Houston and New England who are looking to three-peat the MLS cup this year), but they will make the playoffs.

So, what does $83,000 buy a club? Kenny Cooper at discouted rates. That a pay raise is in order is beyond question. But what price tag for Cooper if he wins the Golden Boot? What price tag for Cooper if Dalls win the Western Conference on his shoulders. With the departure of Juan Toja and Arturo Alvarez along with teenage sensations Abdus Ibrahim, Dallas will lean heavily on Cooper and it looks like Cooper is willing to put the Hoops on his shoulders and carry them to the post-season. If that is the case, the rumored $2 of $3 million price tag will probably double for the strikers. Furthermore, it will be harder and harder for Bob Bradly to ignore that kind of production, leadership and ability to handle the pressure. I fully expect to see Cooper in national team call-ups later this year and certainly next year.

To be frank, I am literally drooling at the possibility of Kenny Cooper and Jozy Altidore combining up top for the U.S. with Adu, Donovan, Bradley and Klejstan providing service.

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