Posts Tagged ‘Kenny Cooper’

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Moves Being Made For Onyewu

December 2, 2008

Rumors Abound! It’s only December 2nd, but we can already smell the January transfer window and our first whiff comes courtesy of Oguchi Onyewu.  Seems like Marseille and Borussia Moenchengladbach are battling it out for the America centre back.  Goal.com tells us:

“The offer from Marseille is reportedly around $6.5 million U.S. with the added bonus of Argentine defender Renato Ceville heading to Liege.

While the offer from Marseille may be the to much for Liege to pass up with Onyewu slated to be out of contract at seasons end, another suitor has arisen. According to Belgiumsoccer.be, Borussia Monchengladbach is now offering Liege close to $4 million U.S. for Onyewu.”

Dear god, please don’t let Gooch go to BMG.  Seriously, If Gladbach gets relegated, the last thing any American wants is two USMNT starters playing for a Bundesliga 2 team.  Marseille would be a great place for Gooch to land and I think he would do very well in the French League.  6.5 million is a pretty hefty number for Onyewu and I don’t think Standard Liege will see a larger bid than that, so I’d be surprised if Gooch didn’t land at Marseille (That is, if the rumor is TRUE).

Another American with some buzz is Kenny Cooper, but more on that LATER.

–psc

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Thanksgiving Week: Waiting For Happenings

November 28, 2008

It’s been a slow holiday week, but in the spirit of posting SOMETHING, this is what’s rumbling:

Kenny Cooper: Increasing rumors about a connection with Eintracht Frankfurt have heated up the transfer talk for this FC Dallas striker.  Pair that with the fact that Dallas doesn’t seem to be willing to pay DP money for KCoop and it looks like he’ll be gone in January.  Now the only question is WHERE.  Expect suitors to come out of the woodwork over the next few weeks.  Perhaps Rosenborg and Cardiff are still interested?

Eddie Johnson: After a kind and encouraging newsweek for EJ, he played like crap against Plymouth.  To make matters worse, two Cardiff strikers are coming back from injury.  Looks like Edward will be dropped back to the bench and stuck as 4th choice striker. Lame, but can any of us actually be surprised?

Freddy Adu: Still can’t buy a game for Monaco.  After scoring for the USMNT last midweek, Freddy didn’t get of the bench in his next club game.  You could argue that ‘oh he needed to rest,’ but that’s BS in my book because he’s an 19 year old who has hardly played all year; he can handle a double gameweek.  We’ll see what happens this weekend.

Jozy Altidore: With Nihat back from injury, US fans are still holding their breath to see if Jozy is used for Villarreal in the next month.  If not, we can expect Josmer to go on loan where hopefully he will find some first team minutes.  That’s something everybody wants.

Oguchi Onyewu: As we approach the January window, it’s time to turn our focus back to Gooch.  Where might he end up?  His contract with Liege expires this year, so it seems they must sell him (if he does in fact wish to leave).  Marseille have reportedly been sniffing around the US Centre Back, and recently Anderlecht has also shown some interest (although Liege would never allow that).  Word has it that Onyewu wants to make it back to the EPL, but I’m not sure any clubs there care.  Hey…Arsenal could use a centre back…Muahha.

Landon Donovan: While it seems his move to Bayern is all but set, we still haven’t heard much from Don Garber and the MLS.  I don’t expect them to prevent the move, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they make a few more stupid comments and get a little bit dirty.  Landon must be counting the days until January.

Chad Marshall: The young Columbus Crew defender has had an outstanding year in the MLS, capping it off with a goal in the cup final.  Now, it seems he has ambitions to play abroad and there is plenty of interest.  Crew wouldn’t be able to pay him the money he wants, so look for Marshall to head oversees in January.

What else is going on people? Still stuffed full of Turkey?

-psc

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Guatemala: Starting Lineup and Live Blogging!

November 19, 2008

Well surprise surprise! Check out Johnny Thorrington!

Guzan
Thorrington Goodson Parkhurst Bornstein
Mastroeni (c) Clark
Adu Kljestan
Cooper Altidore

Cooper and Altidore will start together. That makes my heart sing.  I called the Goodson Parkhurst combo also, and I’m curious how they fair against a pretty physical Guatemala attack.  Thorrington at right back is curious, and Bornstein hasn’t been in the US team for a while, so the defense makes me a little bit nervous.  Especially since Guatemala will be salivating for a win and attacking strongly.

what do you think of the lineup? check back for some live updates as the game kicks off!

–psc

90th min – Game over! Wow! A dream game for this US Squad.  Sure there were a few close calls in defense, but what a great creative attacking show from our young guys!  Kenny Cooper came to work, and got the job done!

85th min – Great save from Guzan! And the cleansheet stays safe…

82nd min – Davy Arnaud comes on for Freddy Adu and now almost all offensive creativity is sucked from our attack.

78th min – It seems that with Jozy and Kenny leaving, so went our attack.

75th min – Jozy and Kenny come off for Brian Ching and Conor Casey.

USA 2 GUAT 0

68th min – GOAL FREDDY ADU! 2-0 USA! A terrific free kick from Freddy after Jozy won the foul.  Great reason to be happy for him after his recent club struggles.

64th min- Great goalkeeping by Guatemala to deny Sasha at the backpost after a Cooper cross.

63rd min – strong long shot from Pablo and Goodson almost puts in the rebound.

60th min – Some BEAUTIFUL work by Adu and he nearly gets played in by a tricky one touch pass from Kenny Cooper.  Wowowow. Such fun attacking football.

55th min – strong shot from Freddy Adu. I’m really glad that Freddy is taking shots freely.  That’s what the USMNT needs.

USA 1 GUAT 0

53rd min – HUZZAAAAAAH GOAL! KENNY COOPER IT IS! Excellent linkup between Jozy and Kenny, and the tandem we’ve dreamed of is coming true!

47th min – Quick snapshot volley from Jozy and he just can’t keep it low.

46th min – Out of the gates right away and Cooper sends a dangerous cross into the box.

HALFTIME – Bright attacking football from USA so far, and we are unlucky to not have a goal.  I hope there aren’t any changes at the break, because this is a fun group to watch and I think everyone is performing well (yes, even Thorrington).

36th min – Freddy Adu plays a teasing ball in and Cooper can’t get it settled in time for a volley. But ooooh it was almost there!

30th min – Cooper heads off the crossbar, but is flagged for offsides.  Real positive stuff for USA so far in this first 30 minutes.

28th min – Great run by Ricardo Clark and it’s nearly rewarded when he plays a neat 1-2 pass with Adu.  He almost ends up through on goal.

21st min – WOW. Referee blows a CLEAR penalty call as a Guat defender takes out John Thorrington in the box.  That was clear as day, how did he miss that??

20th min – some beautiful one touch passing between Jozy, Kenny, and Sasha but Bornstein flubs the low cross.

17th min – GREAT run and shot by Freddy! Kljestan almost finds the rebound, by the Guat keeper makes a good save.

15th min – Thus far, US is attacking very strongly.  Guatemala is giving us plenty of time to turn and run with the ball in midfield, which really suits our strengths…

12th min – Some great interplay between Adu and Sasha leads to a great through pass to Jozy but he opts to play it across the goal instead of shoot.  Should’ve shot there Jozy!

10th min – Jozy draws a foul 35 yards out.

6th min – Jozy again using his strength to hold off the Guatemala defender and nearly lifts the ball past the keeper.

3rd min – Kenny Cooper is nearly played through, but he’s just offsides…

1st min – Quick show of strength from Jozy. Oooh boy.

PREGAME – Anthems have passed and now we’re kicking off!

PREGAME – By the way, where is Marvell Wynne?  I’d much prefer to see him terrorizing the RB spot as opposed to Thorrington…

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20-Man Roster For Guatemala Game

November 17, 2008

Bob Bradley released the roster for the Guatemala game this Wednesday and Jozy and Freddy are the only boys to venture over from Europe.  John Thorrington (Why Gody Why) and Chris Role (Kill Me Now) are the new domestic additions.  Take a peek:

GOALKEEPERS

Brad Guzan, Troy Perkins, Matt Pickens

DEFENDERS

Jonathan Bornstein, Sean Franklin, Cory Gibbs, Clarence Goodson, Drew Moor, Michael Parkhurst

MIDFIELDERS

Freddy Adu, Davy Arnaud, Ricardo Clark, Sacha Kljestan, Pablo Mastroeni, John Thorrington

FORWARDS

Jozy Altidore, Conor Casey, Brian Ching, Kenny Cooper, Chris Rolfe

Alright, so despite the inclusion of Chris Rolfe and Papa John Thorrington, there are some things to be excited about.  First off, Corey Gibbs makes his return to the National Team and there’s a chance he might sneak a start (I suspect he’ll be fighting with Drew Moor for the RB spot).  On first glance, my gut tells me that the starting defense will be Bornstein, Goodson, Parkhurst, Moor. But Gibbs could slide in for Moor.  And Franklin could be a late sub, just to give him a taste of the Senior crest.

In the midfield, my gut reaction is that we’ll see Adu, Clark, Mastroeni, Kljestan lining up.  I’m surprised that US Soccer lists Davy Arnaud as a midfieler, but I don’t expect him to see the pitch anyway (but I suppose you never know).  Some people may be sad to see Freddy on the wing, but where else would we put him in this squad? I don’t think he’d slide into the center because that would push Pablo or Clark out, and I just don’t see that happening.

Up top, the forwards pose an interesting dilemma.  First, I have to figure that Jozy will start.  Why else would we bring him over from Villarreal?  That implies that Brian Ching and Kenny Cooper will be fighting for the other spot, and that makes me extremely worried.  Because knowing Bob Bradley and the US Soccer contingent, Brian Ching will start.  Which breaks my cold, black heart.  This game means nothing and we really need to see what Kenny Cooper can do in a strong runout.  Cooper has been much more productive in the MLS, but because Ching is a “USMNT veteran” he will get the nod?  There is a chance that Cooper will start, but given the traditional and safe ways of Bradley, I don’t have much confidence in that possibility.  Hey, there’s always the chance that Cooper and Ching would start up top together, although that would be mind boggling.

What do you all think of the roster?  Who do you figure will get the start?  Are you sad not to see Danny Szetela in this lineup? Because I am. I have some more in depth thoughts, but I’ll post those later.

–psc

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TnT 2 USA 1, The Kids Aren’t Ready?

October 16, 2008
"Can I have a taste of beer, dad?"

"Can I have a taste of beer, dad?"

Somewhere out there Bob Bradley is smiling, thinking of all the US fans who clamored for Jozy and Freddy to be instant starters and he’s saying, “I told you so.”  After all, Jozy and Freddy couldn’t lead the US attack versus TnT, right?  Us slobbering fans better just chill the eff out, right?  Maybe, but I think the actuality is that last night we witnessed what happens when our US players don’t get playing time for their clubs: They don’t play very well.

DEFENDERS

Let’s start with Guzan.  He just looked rusty.  He made a few nice saves, but I kept feeling that he seemed a bit jittery.  In any case, I wouldn’t fault him for any of the goal but I DO hate how he always seems to take SO MUCH TIME with the ball at his feet.  Just pass the ball already Brad! Okay, moving on. Franke Hejduk, he is the worker bee of the USMNT.  He did a nice job getting forward throughout the first half but he could not deliver a quality cross to save his life, and when you can’t do that, it pretty much voids all your offensive work.  He was fine on the defensive end up until his intercepted pass led to the first TnT goal.  In all, I think we are seeing the last days of Hejduk and hopefuly Wynne will start to see some minutes. In the centre, Califf and Orozco were a mess, most notably on set piece defending.  Califf was also left out to dry on the goal, no where near Latapy.  Neither of them did any favors for their further inclusion in the USMNT pool and they just seemed to lack a general sense of orientation and organization.  I think Orozco comes out looking better than Califf after this game, but he’s still just a fringe bench player.  Pearce was quiet in the first half, but after the interval he started to get forward much more and beat his man on the flank a number of times.  Scotland gave him fits on the left side, but Pearce was able to neutralize the threat pretty effectively.

MIDFIELDERS

Yikes, I’m not sure there are many positives to take away from our midfield play last night.  Kljestan was nightmarish compared to how he has been playing in earlier WCQ’s and Maurice Edu’s first touch was horrible for the majority of the game. Torres didn’t have a HORRIBLE game, but he did disappear for stretches and seemed a bit lost out there.  It felt like the midfield roles weren’t clear enough, like there were too many cooks in the kitchen.  They tried to put together small passes in the midfield but their efforts never amounted to anything.  I also don’t think that Kljestan is effective on the wing.  He doesn’t have the pace to beat players down the flank and he has a tendency to pinch inside, crowding Edu and Torres.  I can’t remember one instance where Kljestan actually delivered a cross from the wing.  We need that width, and he didn’t provide it.  As for Beasley, he just seemed frustrated the whole match.  He couldn’t get anything going and I think it goes to show that he is a player who needs quality around him to excel.  He can’t stand alone.  He delivered a few nice set pieces, but never really got into a rhythm.

FORWARDS

Freddy Adu, where are’t thou?  Freddy had some nice moments in keeping possession but on the whole he couldn’t make anything happen.  Freddy is at his best when he’s running at the defense, and we didn’t see that tonight.  Most times he’d drop deep for the ball, show some nice skill to keep possession and then lay off to a midfielder.  He had trouble turning his marker, and often just played long balls over the top for Jozy which weren’t effective.  Also, where was Adu in the second half?  His involvement disappeared.  As for Altidore, he looked dead tired after about 35 minutes.  Someone needs to get this kid into shape. He never really seemed sharp on the ball, and spent most of the first half chasing down impossible long balls. He did play a nice through ball for Beasley and he deserves credit on creating the goal, but that’s about it.  I think that Jozy needs to play with another striker alongside him to truly succeed, I don’t think he excels in a 4-5-1.

SUBS

Which brings us to the Charlie Davies.  Davies insertion breathed instant life into the side, and you know why? Because he played as an actual second striker.  He didn’t drop deep to grab the ball and leave Jozy alone, but instead made penetrating runs toward the goal, drawing defenders and freeing up space for Altidore in the middle.  He finished cleanly on Jozy’s assist and that should make Freddy Adu nervous because Davies actually looked threatening for those final 20 minutes.

I was glad to see Szetela come on, but I think he should’ve come about 30 minutes earlier.  He’s been getting regular playing time for Brescia and I think he could have brought a good spark to our midfield if brought in for Edu.  In any case, I hope he gets more looks because until Edu establishes himself at Rangers, he shouldn’t be starting for the USMNT.

I will not comment on Chris Rolfe.

My Thoughts: I’m not upset that we lost.  I’m glad that our young guys got a full game to give it a go, and I think that’s exactly what they needed.  That said, if these boys want to continue to develop at a good rate, they NEED to start getting matches at their clubs.  If Freddy Adu keeps up his role as an 80th minute sub at Monaco, he will not grow into an effective Int’l player.  In that vein, I’m also not convinced that Adu fits into the USMNT as a deep-lying striker.  I think he needs to play wide so he can have space to run at defenders and cut inside.  But who does he replace? Dempsey or Beasley? He isn’t ready for that.  Bob Bradley has some tough decisions ahead of him.

So what needs to happen? Edu needs to fight into the Rangers mix, Jozy needs to excel in Copa del Rey and maybe head out on loan, and Adu needs to take advantage of every chance he can to prove his worth in France. Easy, right? Sigh.

OH.

Before I forget.  Kenny Cooper, what have you done? After missing this game, Kenny has just fallen further down the depth chart because Davies took advantage of his chance.  Cooper would have probably started this game for the USMNT but instead he chose to stay home.  At the international level, you can’t take these opportunities for granted because you can never be sure when the team will call your number again.  Kenny’s gonna need to keep scoring blistering goals for FC Dallas if he wants to get back in the US mix and next time, he’s gonna be sitting on the bench.

What did you guys think of the match? Any insights? Think I’m way off base?

–psc

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Kenny Cooper Passes on Callup, Fans Everywhere Break Down in Tears

October 15, 2008

Why Kenny Why? Kenny wrote on the FC Dallas blog earlier this week:

“I feel so fortunate and honored to have been invited to join up with the U.S. Men’s National team in Trinidad and Tobago. I made the difficult decision to pass on this opportunity because I had picked up a virus and have been playing with a sprained ankle. Considering the importance of my club’s game versus Real Salt Lake this week, and that the National Team has already clinched a berth in the next round of qualifying, I felt it was the right thing to do to stay in Dallas and make sure I get well, and hopefully there will be other opportunities down the line.”

My Thoughts: I’m gutted. I mean, don’t get me wrong I think Kenny’s heart is in the right place, but is his BRAIN?  I’m torn, if Kenny really is sick and has an injured ankle, then sure it’s the right choice to stay home. Or is it? Hopefully Bob Bradley assured Kenny that he would be called up in the future even if he missed this match.  But even then, Kenny’s chances to get quality minutes in the hexagonal are much smaller than his chances to get good PT in this TnT game.  Sure I think we’ll see Kenny called up in the next stage, but its probable that we’ll also only see him in a SUB role, given 15-30 minutes to prove his worth.  He could’ve started against Trinidad, and he needs all the pitch time he can get to prove he belongs in the fold.  It’s a risky move by Cooper, but only time will tell…

Do you think Kenny made the right call, or is he crazy?

–psc

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USA 6, Cuba 1: All Systems Go

October 15, 2008
"I'm not anorexic, I promise"

"I'm not anorexic, I promise"

Well well well.  As a USMNT fan, is it possible to be up set with the 6-1 victory of Cuba on Saturday?  Is there really any way you can walk away from watching that game and have a sour taste in your mouth? HOW COULD THAT BE?!

Alright, enough with the melodrama. All in all, Saturday’s game was a bright spot for the USMNT that saw alot of very positive attacking play and solid defending.  Damarcus Beasley grabbed his first international goals in almost a year and half of play, and that has to make Walter Smith happy.  On the flip side, we have to remind ourselves that most CONCACAF opponents are horrible.  We SHOULD be beating Cuba 6-1.  Okay, Let’s check it out by position.

DEFENDERS

No big surprises here.  Cuba couldn’t really test our back four, and the one goal they DID grab, was a fluke-ish and lucky strike.  Gooch and Boca played well in the middle, and did a relatively good job building up play from the back.  There were even some instances where Onyewu played some slicing passes into the feet of Donovan and Ching.  I love seeing that from defenders, because that kind of accurate passing to link with our offensive players can be really priceless.  Dolo played well, if relatively quietly, and didn’t see too much action on the right side.  I think the brightest spot in our back four tonight was Heath; he did an excellent job of pushing forward and getting involved in the attack, delivering a slew of great crosses (one resulting in Landon’s goal).  He also had some clutch tackles up and down the left side.  However,  I think that Pearce does lack one vital wingback trait, and that’s PACE.  When the USMNT faces tougher opposition I don’t think Pearce really has the skill or speed to really beat other world class wing players.  But time will tell I suppose.

Oh yes, and let’s not forget Gooch’s 90 minute goal, a great header.  Although the star of that goal might’ve been Freddy Adu (no offense Gooch).

MIDFIELD

There you are Beasley!!  So Damarcus finally is getting some finishing done.  We can’t fault him for two strong goals, and this is the execution that we certainly NEED from him.  Because besides his goals, I don’t think Beasley looked that special out there.  He certainly has the pace to beat defenders, but he doesn’t have the trickery to really put his marker off balance.  The majority of his 1v1 ability seems to be “push it past and hope,” but this isn’t going to work when you weigh 90 pounds.  Beasley’s strength is using his speed to get the behind the defense and latch onto through balls, which is exactly what led to his goals today.

Next up, I think Kljestan featured very well today, and he’s making a strong case for himself as a partner to Michael Bradley.  They seem to play well together, as Sacha focuses on going forward and creating offense with Mikey sitting back and tackling, crashing the box when necessary.  I thought Kljestan orchestrated well, grabbing two assists, and he was unlucky to not have a goal on his excellent header (which Ching ended up scoring).  If Kljestan can keep improving his protection of the ball and lower his turnovers, I think he could be our starting center midfielder through the hexagonal.

Bradley Jr and Dempsey had pretty quiet games.  I was happy to see Michael getting forward on occassion and he had one or two good chances from the top of the 18 yard box.  If he can find some finishing prowess, it would be great to have someone who can strike some nice long shots from outside the box (but it might be a little wishful to expect this from Mikey B).  Dempsey didn’t let anyone down, and should’ve had a goal in the opening minutes.  He attacked strongly and by my estimation is still playing well for the US, hopefully Hodgson gets him in this weekend.

FORWARDS

Landon is the hero of the day.  Yes, the opposition has been inferior, but I finally see Donovan imposing himself on the match, and I think he did an excellent job of staying on the ball tonight.  The biggest problem we’ve seen from Donovan in the past, is his tendency to disappear for long stretches.  Against Cuba he came back deep for the ball and seemed to always be involved in the offensive buildup.  This is crucial if we are going to build a cohesive attack.  He grabbed a well deserved assist and goal, and his pace provided real problems for the Cuban defense.

Okay, Brian Ching played well tonight.  His holdup play and subsequent distribution to Heath Pearce which led to Landon’s goal was EXCELLENT.  I am a little resentful to see Ching get on the scoresheet, because it was a true poachers goal and pretty much stolen off the goal line from Kljestan.  But hey, that’s how Ching scores, and a goal IS a goal.  This was a good game from Brian but let’s be honest, we all saw Jozy come on, and we all KNOW that the future is Jozy and Landon (with maybe some Kenny Cooper sprinkled in, right).

SUBS

Jozy Altidore came on the 68th minute and USMNT fans everywhere tried to contain their elation.  He made an impact right away, and nearly scored within three minutes of being on the pitch.  His ability to use his body is amazing and shows such maturity for someone only 19 years old.  He can just shrug off defenders and create space for himself with great ease, and this is so important for a striker when trying to get a shot off.  His goal in the 87th was well earned and finished, and if he plays a good number of minutes against TnT (which I expect), I wouldn’t be surprised to see some more goals from the man I will now dub as “The Future.”

Torres also came on in the 68th for his first cap. Hurrah Jose.  While he didn’t really do anything noteworthy, he definitely seemed to fit in right away, maintaining our offensive flow and finding the right pass.  I’m excited to see him against TnT and hopefully he’ll be given some more freedom to dictate the pace of our attack. I think this kid has alot of potential.

Last but not least, Freddy Adu came on the 74th and was relatively quiet for the final minutes.  Of course, he did very well to beat his defender and deliver and excellent cross in the dying moments for Gooch to head home, so that is certainly a positive.  Not too much to critique though, hopefully he gets some more time against Trinidad, and I think he will.

DISCLAIMER: for as happy as we all are with this victory, lets remember that Cuba played the majority of the game with 10 men and had a depleted squad because of defectors.  Not that I want to rain on anybody’s parade, but let’s just remember that and hope that the US squad does too.

In all, a great result and I can’t wait for Wednesday’s match.  Bring it on Soca Warriors.  Hopefully the ESPN feed isn’t shitty.

–psc