The New York Red Bulls announced today that they have acquired 2008 MLS Best XI forward Kenny Cooper from the Portland Timbers in exchange for New York’s natural 2013 first round MLS SuperDraft pick and allocation money.
“We are ecstatic to bring in Kenny to our squad,” said Red Bulls General Manager and Sporting Director Erik Soler. “He has an impressive track record in MLS and will certainly play a key role in our push to win the MLS Cup this season. Kenny is a forward we have been impressed with for a while. He brings a number of attributes to our squad that we are confident will help him succeed in our system. He is a proven goal scorer in Major League Soccer and he will give us another fantastic option in our attacking game.”
“First of all, I want to thank the Timbers and their fans for their unbelievable support during my time there,” Cooper said. “While I am sad to leave Portland, I am excited to start a new challenge and play for the New York Red Bulls. The Red Bulls have built one of the best squads in MLS and play in arguably the best stadium in the country. I cannot wait to get onto the field with my new teammates as I am confident that we can win a MLS Cup.”
Cooper spent the 2011 season with the expansion Portland Timbers and featured in 34 games, starting 29. He led the team with eight goals, 78 shots and 30 shots on goal while also adding two assists. From 2009 until January 2011, Cooper was a member of German second division side 1860 Munich. During his time there, he played in 13 games and scored two goals. In 2010, he was loaned to English League Championship club Plymouth Argyle, whom he appeared for seven times.
Prior to his German stint, Cooper played for FC Dallas from 2006-09 and was a mainstay in the club’s starting lineup. In 2006, his first year with the club, Cooper scored 11 goals and four assists in 31 games and was named the Team’s Most Valuable Player. After playing just 14 games the following year due to injury, he bounced back with a breakthrough 2008 season which earned him a place in the MLS Best XI. Cooper led FC Dallas with 18 goals and was rewarded with the league’s Comeback Player of the Year award. In all, Cooper appeared in 90 games for FC Dallas, scoring 40 goals and adding 10 assists.
Cooper began his professional career in England with Manchester United, but did not appear for the first team. He enjoyed a loan stint with English club Oldham Athletic in 2005, scoring three goals in seven games for the third division side. He has made 11 appearances for the U.S. Men’s National team, scoring five goals.