[MLS]After less than two seasons in his second stint abroad, Kenny Cooper, one of the USA's most prolific young strikers, is back in MLS, this time with the expansion Portland Timbers.
Cooper made just 13 appearances in two seasons at German second division 1860 Munich and seven appearances, all off the bench, while on loan during the second half of last season at English League Championship club Plymouth Argyle.
Son of pioneer NASL goalie and indoor coach Ken Cooper, Cooper began his career at Manchester United after graduating from Jesuit Prep in Dallas. He never played on the first team and after a loan spell with English club Oldham Athletic, he joined FC Dallas in 2006.
In MLS, he scored 40 goals and 10 assists in 90 regular-season matches and was named to the MLS Best XI and an MLS All-Star in 2008.
“Kenny has valuable MLS experience and he knows what it takes to score goals and win in this league,” said Timbers coach John Spencer. “It’s a great, great signing for the club.”
Cooper, still only 26, has played 11 games and scored five goals for the USA but has yet to receive an extended look on the national team. His best run came in 2009 when he helped the USA reach the finals of the Gold Cup and was named to the All-Tournament Team.
“I am really excited to be returning to MLS and joining the Portland Timbers for their inaugural MLS season,” said Cooper in a statement. “It is a great privilege to come to Portland, where there is a long-standing tradition and a deep passion for the team and the game."