I should probably start off this post by saying I have a ton of respect for Kenny Cooper. He’s a good guy, good player and someone you want in your club house.
But also saying that, he isn’t worth a big contract like what SBI is reporting he may get.
Sources have told SBI that the Red Bulls are seriously considering trading Kenny Cooper, with a half-dozen teams currently expressing interest in the 18-goal striker. Cooper’s 2013 salary is believed to be in the $500,000 range, a hefty price to handle for a team already saddled with three Designated Players and the potential addition of Brazilian midfielder Juninho Pernambucano. (It should be noted Cooper’s deal is NOT a Designated Player deal, with the figure being a total that can be reached by buying down the number with allocation money to get it to the max non-DP salary limit of $400,000.)
Seriously, $500k? Again, I like Cooper buy I’m not buying that he’s worth that price one bit.
Let’s take a quick look at what Cooper has done over the years in MLS.
- Productive years: 2012 (18 goals), 2008 (18 goals), and 2006 (11 goals).
- Unproductive years due to injury: 2007 (4 goals), 2009 (7 goals)
- One year in Portland without truly solid support: 2011 (8 goals)
The big productive years for Cooper came when he had a good support system in the midfield and a strike partner that set up him. This past season that vast majority of his goals were due to Thierry Henry, without the French DP in the lineup Cooper only scored three goals.
So 15 goals were due to Henry’s help in some way. He may have not assisted on all of those 15 goals but most watching would agree that he had a part in Cooper’s success.
The same was said about Cooper in Dallas when he had Jeff Cunningham and Carlos Ruiz as a strike partner.
To me the production just doesn’t match the price tag in the end. SBI is saying several teams are in the mix to trade for Cooper. If they are banking on Cooper to be the second striker or even the 1B striker of the team then it will be worth it, I suppose. Cooper does best when he has someone doing a lot of the work up front to set him up. It isn’t to say that he won’t create his own chances, the man does shoot the ball a lot. But the times he didn’t have Henry on the field this season was proof enough that his big production this season may have been exaggerated just a tad.
I’m not sure of what all clubs are interested but we could see Colorado, Chivas (maybe, depending on where that club is going), Toronto, and Vancouver as potential destinations for Cooper. I don’t buy any talk of him coming back to Portland or Dallas just yet. But that may just be me.
What do you make of Cooper’s asking price? Think your club should go for him?