Kenny Cooper has turned down an offer to join the US National Team for Wednesday’s qualifier against Trinidad and Tobago in Port of Spain. Personally after months of lobbying along with the rest of the blogosphere Cooper’s decision to turn down a call up to ostensibly help his club side is from where I sit completely unacceptable.
FC Dallas is fighting for a playoff spot no doubt. They have been gifted draws in the last two matches by terrible officials calls late in games which ironically have gone a long way towards eliminating their opponents San Jose and Toronto FC from playoff consideration. I personally believe a player selfish enough to turn down a call in to a World Cup qualifier in order to play with his club side should be at least for the near term dropped from all national team consideration.
This isn’t England where relatively young players like Jamie Carragher and Paul Scholes retired from the national team in order to focus on their club careers at two of the biggest clubs in the world. FC Dallas isn’t Liverpool or Manchester United. Cooper ought to know because he previously played for Manchester United.
The bottom line is this: Cooper is out the door in the January window. That’s all but certain. He’s being showcased for European clubs right now and as he continues to score goals for the Hoops he raises his stock. A call up to the national team coupled with a bad performance means Cooper’s s stock is lowered for Rosenborg and whatever other top club is chasing him.
To believe Cooper turned down the call up for anything other than selfish reasons is to be nieve. Bob Bradley has too difficult a job to waste his time with Kenny Cooper for the forseeable future. It’s a pity because their is no current MLS based player I have wanted to see in the national team more than Cooper, but this action more than anything confirms why Bradley ignored him for so long.
Goalkeepers: Troy Perkins, Brad Guzan.
Defenders: Jonathan Bornstein, Danny Califf, Frankie Hejduk, Michael Orozco, Heath Pearce, Brian Carrol Marvell Wynne.
Midfielders: Freddy Adu, DaMarcus Beasley, Maurice Edu, Sacha Kljestan, Chris Rolfe, Danny Szetela, , Jose Francisco Torres.
Forwards: Jozy Altidore, Charlie Davies
I’d expect to see this starting lineup or something similar.