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Seattle lands Cooper, New York gets Convey
by Paul Kennedy, December 14th, 2013 2:04AM

TAGS:  fc dallas, mls, new york red bulls, portland timbers, real salt lake, seattle sounders, toronto fc


[MLS 2014 COUNTDOWN] First, it picked up Swiss keeper Stefan Frei from Toronto. Then, it dealt for central defender Chad Marshall from Columbus. Finally, the Seattle Sounders completed a week of big moves with the acquisition of the rights to forward Kenny Cooper.

Leaving the Emerald City this week were Steve Zakuani, Mauro Rosales, Michael Gspurning, Marc Burch as well midfielder Adam Moffat, who moved to FC Dallas in the deal for Cooper and allocation money.
If he signs with Seattle -- his name had been withdrawn from Thursday's Re-Entry Draft -- the Sounders will be Cooper's fourth club in four years. But his 32 goals in the last three years rank sixth in MLS and he ranked seventh all-time among active players in 2013 with 72 career goals.
MLS All-Time Scorers:
134 Landon Donovan
103 Dwayne De Rosario
98 Edson Buddle
88 Carlos Ruiz
82 Brian Ching
79 Chris Wondolowski
72 Kenny Cooper
*Active in 2013.

"Kenny is a proven goalscorer who is extremely active in the box," said Seattle coach Sigi Schmid. "At 6-foot-3, he is a big forward who creates matchup problems for opposing defenders."

Cooper's best season was in 2008 for FC Dallas when he scored 18 goals, was named MLS Comeback Player of the Year and earned Best XI honors. After little success in Germany at 1860 Munich, Cooper returned to MLS in 2011 with Portland before moving to New York in 2012. He matched his career high with 18 goals but was a casualty of salary cap constraints in a move by the Red Bulls to deepen their roster.

Expect more wheeling and dealing from the Sounders in the weeks to come. The move to acquire Cooper likely signals the end for Eddie Johnson's stay in Seattle. The Sounders still need help in midfield, where Osvaldo Alonso was elevated to Designated Player status but Moffat's departure follows that of Rosales.

CONVEY MOVES AGAIN. For the second time this year, Bobby Convey, another MLS Comeback Player of the Year winner, is on the move.

The former U.S. national team player, who began the 2013 season at Sporting Kansas City, has joined the New York Red Bulls from Toronto FC in a “sign-and-trade” deal that also included draft picks: New York's first-round pick in 2014 and third-round pick in 2016 for Toronto's second-round pick in 2016.

“Bobby is a very experienced player who we believe can make an immediate impact on our squad,” said Red Bulls Sporting Director Andy Roxburgh in a statement. “We have been looking at him for some time and he will add quality on the flanks. Bobby’s technical ability will certainly provide us an added dimension.”

Convey, who was part of the Class of 1999 that finished fourth at the Under-17 World Cup, was a teenager when he joined D.C. United. After five seasons, he moved to English club Reading, but his progress was cut short by a knee injury suffered at the 2006 World Cup and he returned to MLS with the San Jose Earthquakes.

He was named the 2010 MLS Comeback Player of the Year and named an MLS all-star in 2010 and 2011. But a move to Sporting KC in 2012 didn't turn out well -- he was bothered by a hamstring injury in his first season and had a falling out with SKC manager Peter Vermes -- and was shipped to Toronto, where he had one goal and four assists in 21 games.

Report: It looks like assistant coach Carl Robinson will be the new coach of the Vancouver Whitecaps after former U.S. national team coach Bob Bradley took his name out of contention to pursue a job in Europe. An announcement is expected Monday by the Whitecaps, who also considered former Montreal head coach and Bradley assistant Jesse Marsch.

TFC's FIRST BOLD MOVE. He isn't Alberto Gilardino and Jermain Defoe, but Toronto FC has a Designated Player. Brazilian forward Gilberto arrives from Internacional after playing on loan to Portuguesa, where he scored 14 goals in 24 games. Hopefully, he does better than the other Brazilian DPs who have signed with MLS clubs.
“We promised our fans back in September that this club would make bold moves this offseason and that they should evaluate our progress in January,” said Toronto FC general manager Tim Bezbatchenko. “We feel that this is a key step and we will continue to work towards delivering on that promise over the next month.”

In four seasons at four Brazilian clubs, Gilberto has scored 38 goals in 109 games.

"Gilberto is a great DP addition to our roster. He’s young, incredibly talented and a proven goal scorer at every level he’s played,” said Bezbatchenko. “The Brazilian Serie A is one of the best leagues in the world and acquiring a top striker from that league is a testament to the faith Gilberto has in what we are doing at our club.”

If Gilberto succeeds at TFC, he'd buck the history of Brazilian DP signings in MLS. None has never played a full season in MLS.

Brazilian DP Signings:
2007: Denilson (FC Dallas)
2011: Geovanni (San Jose)
2011: Jeferson (Sporting KC)
2013: Kleberson (Philadelphia)
2013: Rafael (D.C. United)
Luciano Emilio wasn't elevated to DP status until after his MVP season with D.C. United in 2007.

CHICAGO. The Chicago Fire picked up Jamaican Lovel Palmer from Real Salt Lake in exchange for allocation money. RSL had acquired him in Stage 2 of the 2012 Re-Entry Draft after three seasons with Houston and Portland.

Palmer, who was a valuable fill-in for Chris Wingert at left back when Wingert was injured, said he wouldn't trade his RSL experience for the MLS Cup.
"That’s how much being with RSL, being in Salt Lake City and in Utah meant to me," said Palmer, whose miss in the 10th round gave the MLS title to Sporting Kansas City. "It’s a bittersweet moment knowing I won’t be in that locker room again next year, but at the same time I’m excited to be with the Fire and stay with C.J. Brown."

Brown has moved from the RSL coaching staff back to Chicago, where he played for the Fire. 

Other trades ...

-- Sporting Kansas City acquired the 26-year-old midfielder Sal Zizzo from the Portland Timbers FC in exchange for allocation money.
INJURY REPORT. Costa Rican midfielder Rodney Wallace, who went off in the first half of the second leg of Portland's Western Conference final against Real Salt Lake, underwent successful surgery to repair a torn right ACL and a non-displaced right tibial plateau fracture as well as a meniscectomy of his right knee. Wallace is expected to be out 5-7 months, putting him out of contention for a World Cup berth with the Ticos, with whom he was on the fringe of the national team.

-- Real Salt Lake starters Robbie Findley (repair of torn right patella tendon) and Chris Schuler (remove of bone spurs from his left ankle) both underwent successful surgery on Thursday.

1 comment
  1. Ginger Peeler
    commented on: December 14, 2013 at 11:03 a.m.
    When did Findley tear the tendon? Did it happen in the playoff game?

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