His Instagram account proves that he is currently in Seattle, but Kenny Cooper has been absent from the team for some time. Sigi and Garth keep repeating that his absence is excused, and Sigi went a little further in his explanation saying Lagerwey and Cooper were working out some CBA stuff. Could Cooper be the first MLS player to flex his newly acquired free agency?
You couldn’t blame him. When Cooper signed here last year he was grateful and excited to be in Seattle. But a full season of being relegated to the 18, at best, and Open Cup rosters can’t exactly feel great for a top 20, all-time, MLS goal scorer. This season is even worse.
Cooper wasn’t selected for the 18 in either of the Sounders’ first two games. Chasing a goal against San Jose, Schmetzer subbed Barrett in and that may have been the death rattle of Kenny’s career in Rave Green. I am afraid Cooper may be falling victim to the curse of Caskey, the league is passing him by.
I hope I’m wrong. Cooper is a very talented player. The man scores goals and is the reigning US Open Cup Tournament MVP (though it was shady that Barrett started the Final against Philly and Cooper didn’t log a single minute). Once upon a time he was regularly in the 11, but not anymore. Cooper still wants to be a starting forward, but in a league with Dempsey, Keane, Altidore, and Villa as strikers, Cooper would have to settle for a crappy team to regularly clock minutes.
Cooper is a class act but his MLS career has been peripatetic. The question in the Soundersphere isn’t where is Kenny Cooper, but where will he play next. I don’t know all the ins and outs of the CBA, no one does yet, but Cooper qualifies for the age and experience requirements (30 years old and into his 9th MLS season) that have been widely publicized. But does the new CBA allow free agency to happen midseason? Or are the Sounders actively shopping him as we speak? DC seems a logical fit as they currently lack a striker with Eddie Johnson’s absence (and with his presence– seewhatididthere?).
Oh Kenny Cooper, we hardly knew ya. Once a Sounder…