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Cooper Snubs Bradley

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.

The Squad:

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.







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  1. chop

    October 15, 2008 at 3:35 pm


    I don’t doubt that coaches hold grudges. I was speaking more of right here in the US. I can’t ever really recall anyone outside of that nutjob Steve Sampson that didn’t call people in out of spite.

    As much criticism as Bradley receives, I think he is a fairly straight shooter. That is what I was referring to.

  2. MLS Fan

    October 15, 2008 at 3:05 pm

    Cooper is on double secret probation for this. He will not be called in for a while.

  3. bandeeto

    October 15, 2008 at 2:37 pm

    Soccer, football, whatever, is a VERY subjective sport. Even for coaches at the highest level. Wasn’t Beckham benched at Real Madrid, told that he would never play for them again? That’s the only example that I can think of off the top of my head. Can anyobody else back me up.

    Anyway, coaches definately hold grudges. The higher the level, the worse it is.

  4. chop

    October 15, 2008 at 6:56 am

    If you are suggesting they hold grudges, well then, I don’t know what to say.

    I didn’t realize international soccer was the equivalent of 3rd grade.

    I’m thinking that nothing will come of this and Bradley will call him back up in November and then again in January.

  5. Joe

    October 14, 2008 at 6:02 pm

    You can disagree on this issue, but I believe Cooper will not be called back in for a long long time after this. I know what the USMNT thinks of this sort of thing.

  6. chop

    October 14, 2008 at 2:57 pm


    thanks for doing our show on Sunday!

    However, I think you’re reading too much into this. Cooper gives two very legitimate reasons not to accept the invite (nursing a slight injury and gearing up for their playoff lives on Saturday).

    You also have to consider the travel involved. I don’t know about you but T&T is a frickin’ haul. It’s literally 10 miles from the coast of North Eastern South America (how bout that! I got three directions in one sentence.). I’m not sure a mid-week trip to South America and back is the best thing for the top player on a team precariously on the playoff bubble.

    I’m sure Bob Bradley understands. After hearing the news of this attempted call up, I’m almost positive he will be playing in Denver against Guatemala (unless of course FC Dallas is in MLS Cup – but we all know that won’t happen!) provided he’s not injured.


    October 14, 2008 at 12:55 pm

    Kenny Cooper will be on the WC roster in 2010. Eddie Johnson will not.

  8. psunomi

    October 14, 2008 at 12:04 pm

    Excellent post Ric, I couldn’t have said it better myself.

  9. kevquinnc

    October 14, 2008 at 6:56 am

    Well said Ric.

  10. Phillip

    October 14, 2008 at 1:27 am

    But Berlin… clearly Dallas cares enough about Cooper more than Bob does. They clearly are willing to offer him roughly $100k. =D

    WCQ Regardless of Importance > MLS Cup

  11. Berlin

    October 13, 2008 at 11:42 pm

    I have to disagree with all the naysayers here. I know country should always take precedence, but to abandon your team at the most critical juncture in the season, for a coach that clearly doesn’t give two bits about you or he wouldn’t have waited to call you for the first time on the eve of the playoffs? I’m from Houston and I hope Dallas implodes despite Cooper staying, but I respect it. He’s the franchise and he clearly understands what that means. Good for you Kenny Cooper. Now get the F out of Dallas and start playing for your country.

  12. Ric

    October 13, 2008 at 11:35 pm

    So, a guy with an ankle injury and a virus declines traveling to another country (and this being a CONCACAF team, let’s think about field conditions, especially for a guy with an ankle injury) for a World Cup qualifier that has no impact in terms of the national team advancing to the next round so that he can heal his injuries and help his team reach the playoffs, and that concern for health and club is cause enough to say he’s selfish and deserves to not be called up in the future, talent and ability be damned?

    Seriously, you guys can find literally anything to bitch about.

    It’s really a no-win situation for Cooper. He hears complaints if he stays home with his club and nursing injuries. If he goes and has a dismal game because of his injuries, detractors say that he doesn’t deserve to be called up anymore. If he goes and aggravates his injuries, he’s of no use for the national team or Dallas.

    Really, this is just complaining for the sake of it.

  13. Tim

    October 13, 2008 at 6:00 pm

    As far as I am concerned we should be done with Cooper. Turning down a call up to National Team for a qualifier isn’t acceptable when you have for months had legion of whiners pleading your case on all these types of websites and blogs.

    No MLS game, even the final is more important than a World Cup qualifier. If he does not have his priorities straight he should not be called in. Besides I think he is figuring he can impress Rosenborg, Cardiff and the other sides tracking him if he declines the invite based on club considerations.

    This is a purely selfish act and is in its own way not acceptable behavior.

  14. Daniel F. US Open Cup

    October 13, 2008 at 3:38 pm

    Jeff, it doesn’t really matter anyway since Cooper wants to play for the USA and Bradley still has one more qualifier left in November. If you read the report Kenny Cooper declined, not because he did it to spurn Bob Bradley, He has a viral infection and he wants to get it treated. Cooper is in Bradley’s plans and he has one more official match of World Cup Qualifying in the semi-final round before the hexagonal next year.

    Please don’t make it sound like that Cooper is telling Bradley off that he doesn’t want to play for his country, but still can play for England. Just because his Dad is English doesn’t mean he is going across the Atlantic for the National Team. England has plenty of players to choose from and they will never grab someone who is a decendent of one of their former patriots.

  15. Phillip

    October 13, 2008 at 2:45 pm

    Jeff, Rogers was only 19 when he went to Heerenveen. Maybe he wasn’t prepared.

  16. Jeff

    October 13, 2008 at 2:41 pm

    I should state I like this squad other than Rogers. His play in MLs means nothing to me, He completely flopped in Holland.

    I’d like to see Torres, Adu and Altidore all together at the same time for most of the match.

  17. Jeff

    October 13, 2008 at 2:40 pm

    Cooper is still eligible to play for England because he has not played in an official competition, just two friendlies. That having been said I seriously doubt he’ll be called in but after seeing how Parkhurst was handled- two quick caps in the Gold Cup, an official event when Ireland was ready to call him in for Euro qualifying, and then no further call ins, can you blame him?

  18. Phillip

    October 13, 2008 at 2:03 pm

    Si, Daniel.

  19. Daniel F. US Open Cup

    October 13, 2008 at 4:34 am

    Phillip. I think we all know that Cooper isn’t going to England. But let’s not forget that Cooper is already capped for the USA when Arena brought him in a friendly in 2006 against Norway at the Home Depot Center. So if there really were any ideas of him putting on the 3 Lions shirt, it’s not going to happen.

  20. Phillip

    October 13, 2008 at 2:29 am

    I figured I would just repeat what you said to make sure that some people understood it.

  21. bandeeto

    October 13, 2008 at 1:49 am

    Is there an echo in here?

  22. Phillip

    October 13, 2008 at 12:09 am

    Cooper’s got no legitimate shot at making England’s roster.

  23. bandeeto

    October 12, 2008 at 10:58 pm

    Interesting the comment from “anonymous”, about the next game cap tying Cooper. I wonder if this is true. What other country could he play for?

    Kenny Cooper Sr, his father, was from England. Kenny Cooper is good enough to have a chance of making roster for plenty of national teams, but England is not one of them.

  24. Phillip

    October 12, 2008 at 10:09 pm


    Cooper was called in by Bob Bradley, and he turned down the invite.

  25. Phillip

    October 12, 2008 at 7:49 pm

    Bob’s going to play some veterans just to get that leadership and experience on the field.

  26. eplnfl

    October 12, 2008 at 6:48 pm

    Great to see Wynn in the line-up. Not knowing alot about Torres I would love to see 60 mins of him.Beasely after all his hard knocks in the Cuba game should be sent back to his team.

    All in all it’s great to sit back and watch the next two games with no worry.

  27. derrickinSF

    October 12, 2008 at 4:38 pm

    That looks like 10 changes. My concern is making that many changes disrupts the team cohesion. And I’d prefer to see Donovan, Adu, Altidore and Torres all on the pitch at the same time.

    I think it’s fine to get players time but what often happens is the play suffers from a lack of understanding.

    Personally, I’d like to see Wynn, Szetela, and Rogers more then Hedjuk, Pablo who i already know is ok, and some others. But if there’s 10 changes some of these guys wouldn’t play on my squad.

    Guzan? He was playing poor before he went to Villa. Played only one game that I know at Villa. Why he’s on this squad let alone #2 on the depth chart.

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