Question: Which Major League Soccer team would like to take on an 18-goal scorer? Answer: Pretty much any of them.
Which is why this developing situation with Red Bulls striker Kenny Cooper is curious and interesting all at once. Soccer By Ives, which has been on top of the early blitz of Red Bull off-season movement, is reporting that RBNY management is aggressively shopping Cooper, and that the line forms to the left. Seems it’s going to be a pretty long queue, too.
It’s about today’s reported acquisition of Fabian Espindola, adding speed alongside Thierry Henry (who is a lot of things, of course, but does miss some pace.)
As we talked about earlier, Cooper or Sebastien Le Toux would have to go, and it looks like the former FC Dallas and Portland Timbers striker is odd man out. Fair enough, but there’s this: the big fellow did score 18 goals last year!
True enough that his role alongside Henry, shrewd and gifted, had a lot to do with Cooper’s 18-goal season. Still, it was an 18-goal season!
Want to know how many guys have had 18-goal seasons since 2007? Three. And look who they are:
Chris Wondolowski, Landon Donovan and Cooper. That’s a fairly impressive assembly. By the way, Cooper has had two of those 18-goals season during that time.
Cooper has deficiencies in his game; the glitches have been discussed to death through the years. But at some point it’s all about bottom-line production for a striker. And on that regard, he has absolutely passed the test.
So it’s hardly surprising that plenty of teams would be happy to take on the affable Cooper, as pleasant a person as anyone will ever know. That is to say, off-field chemistry or locker room issues are the last thing anyone worries about with Cooper.