Kenny Cooper

Montreal Impact claim Kenny Cooper off waivers bolster attack


In the absence of young Cameron Porter for the season with a torn ACL, Montreal has gone and got Kenny Cooper off waivers from the Seattle Sounders, the club confirmed.

The details of the deal were not disclosed, but Seattle previously confirmed that the club bought out the 30-year-old’s contract and will receive salary cap relief. The buyout means the club pays his salary out of pocket instead of from the league bank, and in return his salary cap hit goes away.

“I’m very excited to have the opportunity to join the Montreal Impact,” said Cooper through the Montreal club statement. “With the recent achievement of reaching the Champions League final, it’s obviously a great time for the club. I am eager and determined to contribute to more success this year. It will be a privilege to represent a club, so rich in history and fan support.”

Montreal becomes Cooper’s fifth MLS club since 2011, having previously played for Portland, New York Red Bulls and FC Dallas before landing in Seattle prior to the 2014 season. He scored three goals for the Sounders in 22 league appearances last season plus six more in the US Open Cup (named Player of the Tournament), and has not played yet this season.

He joins Montreal at a good time, with the CONCACAF Champions League final on the horizon against Club America and the club needing help at the striker position. With Porter down, Jack McInerney and 20-year-old Rosario Williams were the only true striker options at the head of the attack.

The club confirmed Cooper will fly to Montreal on Monday and be with the team for training starting Tuesday. Montreal doesn’t play again until the first leg of the final on April 22, with their next MLS game not until May 6, after the second leg is concluded.

Kenny Cooper and the MLS bargain bin: Sorting out his options


This doesn’t happen too often, and you can credit the late-hour MLS labor negotiations for it: a veteran Major League Soccer forward is looking for a new team just one month into the season.

This veteran is Kenny Cooper, the one-time Manchester United and 1860 Munich man with 10 USMNT caps and four goals on his resume. Of late, he had been with the Seattle Sounders. The club was ready to see him off and couldn’t find a trading partner and now will end up paying whatever part of his salary isn’t picked up by a new club.

[ MORE: MLS weekend preview ]

If that leaves your head spinning a bit, hit up this post on Sounder At Heart. If not, let’s keep moving.

What we know is that, at least according to Columbus coach Gregg Berhalter, Cooper is headed to waivers.

So where could he land? Let’s indulge in some pure speculation

Montreal Impact – The destination most often discussed, Cooper could help fill the void created by the season-ending injury to Cameron Porter. The Impact were said to be an interested trade partner before the Sounders cut tie, but Montreal denied looking into the veteran.

DC United – The Maryland-born Cooper could move close to home, joining a DC strike force that is missing Eddie Johnson (heart condition). That could only be of extreme short-term interest for the Black and Red, however.

Philadelphia Union – Their young forwards — Andrew Wenger, Dzenan Catic and even DP Fernando Aristeguieta — could learn a lot from the well-liked Cooper.

Seattle Sounders waive Kenny Cooper with Montreal Impact waiting in the wings


Kenny Cooper is on the move.

The 30-year-old American forward was waived by Seattle Sounders with the club releasing the following short statement on Thursday as the eight-year MLS veteran is now a free agent but is already interesting teams around the league, most notably the Montreal Impact.

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Here’s what the Sounders had to say about Cooper:

“Seattle Sounders FC today announced that it has waived forward Kenny Cooper. Cooper came to Seattle via a trade with FC Dallas on December 13, 2013. The eight-year veteran appeared in 22 matches for Sounders FC last season, recording three goals and four assists. He added six goals in four Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup matches, earning Player of the Tournament honors as the club won its fourth title in six years.”

On Wednesday Montreal’s head coach Frank Klops spoke to the media about Cooper and it’s fair to say he’s a fan of the towering Maryland native.

“We have an interest,” Klopas said. “We need forward depth. He knows the league. He’s played overseas. He’s got international experience. He’s someone that, immediately, can come in and have an impact, because he knows the league well.”

Cooper is an MLS nomad as the player who spent three-years with Manchester United during his youth career, and time in the Bundesliga with 1860 Munich, has played for FC Dallas in two separate spells, the New York Red Bulls, Portland Timbers and Seattle.

If the interest from Montreal is concrete, would Cooper fit in well at Stade Saputo? The Impact could certainly use some reinforcements up top with Jack McInerney, Dominic Oduro and Ignacio Piatti the three guys leading Montreal’s offense this season after promising rookie Cameron Porter suffered a season-ending ACL injury to his right knee. Despite success in the CONCACAF Champions League (they face Costa Rican side Alajuelense in the semifinals) Montreal have scored just twice in their opening three matches of the MLS season and are one of four teams yet to record a victory.

Cooper’s experience and presence could slot in well with the speed and predatory instincts of Oduro and McInerney, as the U.S. international forward seems likely to end up in Quebec as his two-year adventure in Seattle is over.

Montreal Impact 0-2 Seattle Sounders: Visitors prevail without Dempsey and Evans

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In the absence of some key players, Seattle’s Lamar Neagle was the pivotal man as Seattle picked up its second win of the season while keeping Montreal winless in a 2-0 victory in Quebec.

Brad Evans and Clint Dempsey were unavailable for the Sounders, who fended off a shot-ready attack from Montreal. The Impact were credited with 25 shots in the match to Seattle’s nine, though just six were on frame.

Troy Perkins made some big saves as usual, but it was his misfortune that got Seattle on the board. Gonzalo Pineda’s free kick was headed off the frame by Neagle, but the ball hit Perkins and entered the goal to give Seattle a 1-0 lead in the 8th minute.

Perkins got his body on the second goal as well, this time a hand, as Obafemi Martins headed home a Kenny Cooper cutback cross to double Seattle’s lead. And yes, he went flip city in celebration.

Frank Klopas is now staring at an 0-3 start to his time in Montreal. The only other team without a point this season is DC United, which has only played twice.

Seattle improves to 2-1-0, their lone loss coming against Toronto FC. Stefan Frei was strong between the sticks for the visitors, who also got several impressive moments from DeAndre Yedlin.

MLS Preview: Seattle Sounders vs. Toronto FC


On Saturday, two USMNT stars will be pitted against one another, with Seattle’s Clint Dempsey facing off against Toronto’s new acquisition, Michael Bradley as the two sides go head-to-head at CenturyLink Field (Watch live on NBCSN, 4:30 p.m. ET and online via Live Extra).

Seattle will be looking for a second straight win to start off their season. Last week, the Sounders had to wait until injury time before they were finally able to break down Sporting KC. Substitute Clint Dempsey saw his header rebound off the crossbar and Chad Barrett pounced, putting in the winner.

It’s Toronto’s first match of the season, and they’ll be hoping that a revamped squad gives them enough of a boost to overcome Seattle – and its 12th man present at all home games. At least six new players could feature in the visitors’ starting lineup. Bradley Orr, Justin Morrow, and Jackson are all expected to be in coach Ryan Nelsen’s plans. Dwayne De Rosario could get his (re)debut. Jermain Defoe could start. And of course, there’s Bradley.


The extra week of rest certainly benefited Toronto, particularly since Bradley had been nursing a foot injury. However, the midfielder may not get as many minutes as fans would like, as Nelsen is concerned about the poor turf in Seattle. The visitors will be without new forward Gilberto, however, who didn’t make the trip due to injury.

As for Seattle, well, it’s nearly certain that Dempsey will be more than a mere substitute this time around. The hosts will be hoping he gives their offense a boost, as Kenny Cooper and Obafemi Martins looked rather ineffectual last time around. And, of course, Stefan Frei will be in goal to face his former side, with Sigi Schmid confirming that he’s the Sounders’ first-choice keeper.

What they’re saying

Seattle GM Adrian Hanauer on Clint Dempsey: My expectations are that he’s going to win a bunch of games. That’s all he can do. I don’t really care if he scores goals or makes assists, as long as he helps us win games. Having him be here from the first game of the year is going to be a big benefit. I expect Clint to be a big part of a winning team this year.

Ryan Nelsen on the problem with Michael Bradley: “The problem with Michael is kind of stopping him from doing stuff, he’s so keen and so eager, over-keen and over-eager, which is why he’s such a good player. It’s more holding him back and pulling on the reigns is my biggest problem with Michael.”


Seattle claim another three points. Toronto have made some smart acquisitions in the offseason, but they may not have all gelled together just yet. At least, not enough for them to defeat the Sounders. Besides, Frei is going to be pulling on some otherworldly strengths to make sure his former side don’t put any balls in the back of the net.