Dec 9, 2013, 6:52 PM EDT
FC Dallas had a busy day, one that included the cutting of ties with a popular man around Toyota Stadium, Kenny Cooper.
The team announced that it was unable to come to contract terms with Kenny Cooper, a man whose career has bounced up and down like a high punt off hard turf.
Cooper was The Man around FCD, but wanted big money. So he went to Europe, where things went anything but as planned during stops in Germany and England. Back he came to MLS, where he did OK at Portland but went to New York and hit for 18 goals, which would win you a scoring title in a lot of years.
He bounced back to Dallas, with whispers that Cooper’s goal scoring success was largely about Thierry Henry’s nearby presence.
This year in Texas? Just six goals, which is why the club wanted to sharply reduce his number on the books. Cooper is now eligible for Major League Soccer’s re-entry draft; he can still sign with Dallas, but it usually doesn’t work that way once players are exposed.
Also on Monday, the club traded talented, versatile (but occasionally volatile) Brazilian midfielder Jackson.
And, in a move to earmark and watch closely, the team came to contract terms with Ryan Hollingshead, a 22-year-old midfielder and potentially a good prospect. He was a second round pick in last year’s draft, but probably would have gone higher. The UCLA man had made it known that he would probably pursue church activities rather than a pro career; Dallas took a chance, which may now pay off.
What makes all this rather odd is the club continuing to build a team with no knowledge of who its head coach will be. Which, of course, makes no sense. Technical director Fernando Clavijo is making the personnel calls, and fair enough.
But a coach without players to fit a certain style risks losing an entire year while he re-shapes the roster more to his liking. Think back to what happened in Colorado, where Oscar Pareja was brought in late. He needed a year to get a roster more fitting of the style he wanted, and it showed in the improvement his team made from 2012 to 2013.
Dallas dismissed coach Schellas Hyndman on Oct. 18, with two games remaining in the regular season, about six weeks ago.
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