FC Dallas is Losing Brek Shea and Gaining Kenny Cooper, and That's Good News

Categories: Sports

via FC Dallas
Kenny Cooper is coming back to Frisco, and he's bringing Some French Guy with him.
Editor's note: What use is having a British contributor if you don't get him to write about "football"?

So less than a week after Brek Shea skulks off to Europe on transfer deadline day, FC Dallas has brought in two signings, at least one of which is a sizeable coup. Kenny Cooper, a proven MLS goalscorer whose best form undoubtedly came in Dallas from 2006 to 2009, is returning from a pretty triumphant season partnering with -- and outscoring -- the legendary Thierry Henry on the New York Red Bulls.

See also:
- Brek Shea and the Making of an American Soccer Star*

It's unclear why Red Bulls let him go; perhaps he wasn't the star name they wanted partnering with Henry up front. But given that the fans here already love him, and that his injury problems appear to be in the past, Cooper is a huge signing for a team that counted on Shea to put butts in the seats.

Yesterday's other signing, Some French Guy, is both a striker and French. I'm not sure if Cooper specified that he required a French striker to play alongside him, but after Some French Guy's total blow-out at the Whitecaps last season, he's no Brek Shea, let's put it that way. At best, he might re-produce the form he showed in the Swiss league. That's not the best advert for him, admittedly, but Some French Guy might turn out to be Exactly The French Guy Dallas Was Looking For.

brek shea.jpg
Danny Fulgencio
Brek Shea is taking his abs and his sometimes-shitty attitude to Europe.
The whole Shea transfer ended up becoming a pretty lengthy saga, and one that's interesting on two counts. One: MLS isn't going to reach the heights of the Brazilian or Argentinian leagues, let alone Europe, until you abandon this collective bargaining nightmare for international transfers. You know what soccer is in Europe? It's the rampant, unstoppable, free market, where players change hands for $10 million every couple of days during the transfer windows. There's no doubting Stoke got an unbelievable bargain. Brek Shea has worked out at about 1/20th of a Fernando Torres. Embrace capitalism, America. I can't believe I'm saying that.

Two: Stoke is a team of giants with one simple tactic not popular at all in American soccer - hit it long to the big man. I hope Shea enjoys throw-ins and headers. I felt sure the rumors of a move to England would see him end up at Fulham, a team with a great history of American signings (McBride, Dempsey, Bocanegra) and a style of play more accommodating to Shea. But it would seem he's now a cut-price American version of Matthew Etherington, and if you don't know what that means, don't, for the love of God, research it.

Anyway, after the doom and gloom, FC Dallas had to make a statement of intent, and the point is that yesterday they made it in some style. There's no doubt Cooper will score goals at this level.

It's a move in his interests too. He reacquaint himself with a team where he spent his best seasons (although is still only 28), and with a good enough run he's got every chance of pushing the average-at-best Eddie Johnson or Herculez Gomez out of a spot on the national team.

It's always a bad day for the fans when the best player on the team leaves, but it doesn't need to be such a problem for the team themselves. Put in a bit of work on the defense, keep Ferreira fit, and, far from being the end of the world, next season might just be a winner. A collective winner, without the distraction of the big-name star.

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Glad Kenny's back, Shea's work rate drove me crazy....

mavdog topcommenter

Stoke has a solid back line, they have no creativity up top. Shea should get playing time, and I believe he will be more impactful than Dempsey has been. and being in the EPL will likely have Shea elevating his game to another level.

regrettably, the MLS will likely never be more than what it is today. barring a major win by the national team (either the world cup or olympics) the public just doesn't care. the only way those other leagues have the ability to pay their players is TV revenue, and that level of income will never materialize here. people just don't watch, and if people don't watch the networks don't pay.


Now if only the Observer would give the playoff-bound Dallas Sidekicks the time of day...


In addition to embracing the free market the MLS (and all the other "major" sports leagues in the US) should embrace relegation. It creates tension and drama at the bottom of the league and pushes the crappy teams who ride the financial coat tails of the league.

ScottsMerkin topcommenter

Its it a conflicting feeling seeing him go.  while it was enjoyable to watch him play and he definitely helped FCD,  Its a happy day to realize we had a player good enough to be scouted and signed by a top level team in England.  This trip over seas can only him his national team aspirations as well.  Good luck, and please Fox Soccer give us a Stoke game or 2 to see Brek before the year is over.

EDIT:  and oh yeah, its about damn time you had the fuggin Hornet write a footie article.  Oh and if their mascot is a hornet, why the fuck is there an elk on the patch of the team unifrom

ScottsMerkin topcommenter

@David_Heimer well even when relegated they still ride the coattails of the Premier League, as they give the relegated team money to help keep them afloat for a year two to help mitigate the loss of the TV revenue.  and in some cases those corrupt owners, pocket the money then bankrupt the team for their personal gain.


@ScottsMerkin The elk is the animal on the crest of Hertfordshire, the county Watford are in. We actually only changed to black and yellow, and subsequently nicknamed ourselves "The Hornets", relatively recently. And by recently, I mean 40 years ago. Club was founded 125 years ago, used to play in black and red.

ScottsMerkin topcommenter

@cleaver.gavin thank you for that fine history lesson mate!  Lets get a weekly soccer post up in this bitch, maybe a BPL weekly review with emphasis on how American born players are doing, or hell, just a blog about your Saturday morning at a local watering hole watching Americans celebrate and get hammered at 8 am thanks to a sport being played in your home country

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