FC Dallas v AIK - Portland Timbers Tournament

Kenny Cooper’s days at FC Dallas may be done. Again.

1 Comment

FC Dallas had a busy day, one that included the cutting of ties with a popular man around Toyota Stadium, Kenny Cooper.

The team announced that it was unable to come to contract terms with Kenny Cooper, a man whose career has bounced up and down like a high punt off hard turf.

Cooper was The Man around FCD, but wanted big money. So he went to Europe, where things went anything but as planned during stops in Germany and England. Back he came to MLS, where he did OK at Portland but went to New York and hit for 18 goals, which would win you a scoring title in a lot of years.

He bounced back to Dallas, with whispers that Cooper’s goal scoring success was largely about Thierry Henry’s nearby presence.

This year in Texas? Just six goals, which is why the club wanted to sharply reduce his number on the books. Cooper is now eligible for Major League Soccer’s re-entry draft; he can still sign with Dallas, but it usually doesn’t work that way once players are exposed.

Also on Monday, the club traded talented, versatile (but occasionally volatile) Brazilian midfielder Jackson.

And, in a move to earmark and watch closely, the team came to contract terms with Ryan Hollingshead, a 22-year-old midfielder and potentially a good prospect. He was a second round pick in last year’s draft, but probably would have gone higher. The UCLA man had made it known that he would probably pursue church activities rather than a pro career; Dallas took a chance, which may now pay off.

What makes all this rather odd is the club continuing to build a team with no knowledge of who its head coach will be.  Which, of course, makes no sense. Technical director Fernando Clavijo is making the personnel calls, and fair enough.

But a coach without players to fit a certain style risks losing an entire year while he re-shapes the roster more to his liking. Think back to what happened in Colorado, where Oscar Pareja was brought in late. He needed a year to get a roster more fitting of the style he wanted, and it showed in the improvement his team made from 2012 to 2013.

Dallas dismissed coach Schellas Hyndman on Oct. 18, with two games remaining in the regular season, about six weeks ago.

Sam Allardyce to open talks with Sunderland

Sam Allardyce, West Ham United FC
Leave a comment

Now that Liverpool have selected and named their new manager, it appears Sunderland are finally ready to move forward with their own managerial search. (That’s clearly a joke, because it implies Liverpool and Sunderland ever duke it out for the same managerial candidate.)

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s PL coverage ]

Anyway, the Black Cats will have to hire someone to replace the recently-departed Dick Advocaat at some point. We all knew that, despite the fact he’s probably earned a shot at that level, Bob Bradley was never really going to be considered for the job. With that in mind, if you’re not going to endear yourself to the entire United States of America with this hire, you might as well go for the best unemployed manager who’ll actually consider your approach.

That’s what Sunderland chairman Ellis Short appears to have done, as it was reported Thursday that despite an initial reluctance from Sam Allardyce — let’s be honest, he actually was holding out hope for the Liverpool job — the 60-year-old most recently in charge of West Ham United was willing and ready to enter into negotiations with the northeastern club.

One of the major sticking points during Sunderland’s courting of Allardyce is expected to be his demand for autonomy in the transfer market as well as a sizable transfer budget to sign his own players during the January window.

[ MORE: Advocaat: Sunderland squad too thin, chairman to blame ]

Allardyce seems like the no. 1 guy you’d like to bring in to steady a capsized ship — cough Sunderland cough — in any situation. Not only does he have a successful track record in the Premier League, but he’s the kind of no-nonsense leader a club like Sunderland so desperately needs as they find themselves in yet another relegation battle just eight games into the new season.

Short hopes to have Allardyce signed, sealed and delivered when the Premier League returns to action next weekend. In that event, Allardyce’s first game in charge of Sunderland would be a trip to West Bromwich Albion. His first home fixture? Home to Tyne-Wear derby rivals Newcastle United, a club whose boisterous fanbase still holds a great deal of disdain for Big Sam. Sometimes the football gods really are looking out for us.

Statement from suspended UEFA president Michel Platini

Michel Platini, UEFA & FIFA
Leave a comment

Statement from suspended UEFA President Michel Platini:

Early this afternoon, I was informed of the FIFA ethics committee’s decision to impose on me a provisional 90-day suspension with immediate effect. That decision, which I will of course contest in the appropriate manner at the appropriate time, had already been the subject of a deliberate leak, and I gave my opinion on that earlier in the day.

I reject all of the allegations that have been made against me, which are based on mere semblances and are astonishingly vague. Indeed, the wording of those allegations merely states that a breach of the FIFA Code of Ethics “seems to have been committed” and that a decision on the substance of the matter cannot be taken immediately.

Despite the farcical nature of these events, I refuse to believe that this is a political decision taken in haste in order to taint a lifelong devotee of the game or crush my candidacy for the FIFA presidency.

I want everyone to know my state of mind: more than a sense of injustice or a desire for revenge, I am driven by a profound feeling of staunch defiance. I am more determined than ever to defend myself before the relevant judicial bodies.

I want to reiterate in the strongest possible terms that I will devote myself to ensuring that my good faith prevails. I have received numerous messages of support today from UEFA’s member associations and the other confederations encouraging me to continue my work serving football’s interests. Nothing will make me give up on that commitment.