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Cooper turned down U.S. national team invite


For those of you who A) were surprised not to see Kenny Cooper included in the U.S. national team’s 18-man roster for the World Cup qualifying match against Trinidad & Tobago on Wednesday night and B) hadn’t heard about it on Sunday, Cooper revealed that he actually turned down the invitation by U.S. coach Bob Bradley to be called up, citing an illness and ankle injury.

Cooper told the FC Dallas team blog on Sunday that he turned down the call:

"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," Cooper said. ‘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."

You have to admire Cooper for his committment to FC Dallas but he probably should have ended the written statement after the "playing with a sprained ankle" part. Publicly stating that he turned down a call-up to prepare for an MLS match probably didn’t go over too well in U.S. national team circles.


  1. The amount of people who think that he would have a prayer of getting called in by England is truly hilarious. I have yet to truly see a reason to believe he’s all that much better than Ching or Twellman or any other overinflated MLS striker flavor of the month, and you’re worried that England is going to steal him? Remind me to stay away from whatever it is you people are imbibing in.

    He was about to be signed by either Cardiff or Rosenborg. Have you ever seen a player from either the Championship or the Norwegian league play for England? I know I haven’t. And before you say that he’ll stay there for a year and then freaking Arsenal will sign him or something, if he were really that great, why wouldn’t Arsenal or whoever sign him now and then loan him out? That’s what happened with Altidore.

    The answer, of course, is that he’s not that great, and that the overvaluing of him by a certain segment (mainly the MLS segment) of the U.S. fanbase has reached truly epic proportions.

    As far as I’m concerned, if he doesn’t care about his country, then I don’t care about him. Screw him. Dump him from the call-up list, get to installing Davies as our second striker of the future, and let’s all get on with our lives. Because I guarantee you that he is nowhere near as good as everyone thinks he is, and he is not worth all this BS.

  2. First, I’d like to say it was very big of him to decline the invite and open up the door for someone else to get a look. He could have been selfish and taken his sick, hurt self down there to train with the team.

    However, I don’t like the fact that he suffixes that sentiment by adding that he would rather help out his MLS club.

    Finally though, I’m glad to have this weight lifted off of Bob Bradley. He invited Cooper per the requests of the masses, and we are no better off than before he was invited. Although, I am still whole-heartedly against Brian Ching being the default top striker.

  3. Don’t worry folks… KC will go to England during the winter transfer and will immediately get called into camp (a la EJ), because Bob Bradley is a Euro snob.

  4. man… i don’t know where to start. i think he should have attended camp, even if he wasn’t going to play. as far as i’m concerned, treatment at nat’l team camp is just the same as treatment at dallas, and he’ll at least be showing solidarity with the team and willingness to learn the “system” if he truly wants to play with the nat’l team

    [lol… any “system” that leaves adu off the field for “age”, and cooper off the field because he’s not a “target striker” like ching or EJ is something that probably deserves to be snubbed, but that’s beyond the point…]

    as for cooper being able to play for england, you all have got to be kidding. if i hear one more reference to his passport that’s not related to a club transfer… lol

  5. bradley even stated that with a win we would be seeing different faces on the remaining 2 game rosters….

    all the negative posts about giving another reason for BB to snub him are merely bitter fans who take nothing into account…. BB will understand, as he’s a professional…. KC staying with FCD was the smartest move for him…. ESPECIALLY since he probably wouldnt see PT with the subs in place… i mean seriously… Jozy, Adu, Torres… fans have been screaming for jozy and adu, and there was no way Torres was not going to come out of the game without a cap… not with Mex Fed hounding on him….

  6. Amy, the last couple of years the January camp has been at the HDC, and I would suspect thats where it will be again. And for god sakes people, enough with Cooper not being cap-tied. He is.

  7. Have to admit – this is absolutely hilarious. For everyone who goes nuts on this site calling for Coopers inclusion -you unequivocally have his call up!!!!

    Can there now be a moratorium on Kenny Cooper call up posts until January, Ives???

  8. I agree with you, Ives. Cooper should have let it go after “I’m injured and can’t play.” I actually couldn’t care less if he gets called up again or not.

    Cooper is not the answer. He might be a seviceable player, but he’s never going to be “THE” danger man at the international level.

  9. awwwwww man coops. I hope this doesnt come back and bit you in the ass later on. i am still drooling till this day on the possiblities of a Altidore-Cooper Tandem with Donovan seated just behind them…with Beasley and Dempsey on the wings…….droolllllllllllll

  10. Look in the end. as crappy as it is to KC supporters and as good as it seems to his haters. At least we didnt have a kevin kuryani moment.

    KC never bailed on the team, which is a good sign. he told BB that he was sick and had a lingering injury. Granted those are legit reasons. I mean in the end someone else will be able to get a roster spot because of his being sick.

    And for those who think he will go to the English national team…yeah right. He would be in the peter crouch role. and the brits already have a peter crouch. so really, this is the only national soccer he can hope to play.

  11. Just read through the thread, and may have missed it, but it seems to me the T and T game DOES matter to our young guys playing in it. It’s not just another friendly to them, or shouldn’t be; it’s a chance to show Bradley what they can do, when those chances are few and far between. If Cooper were healthy enough to play, and he wanted to play for the Nats, he should’ve joined the team. I think KC’s reaction is unwise, and I think it’ll be interesting to see how Bradley reacts to it. Major proviso: This all depends on how much he and Bradley discussed his call-up, of course.

  12. Cooper is sick and injured. The USA game is wednesday, fcd plays saturday and those 3 days can make a difference. Cooper made the right decision. He already has a British passport so does’nt need any time with the USA national team on that score. By the way, remote as it, he is NOT cap tied to the USA as only competitive games (at any age level) count. Cooper has never represented the USA in a competitive game.Period.

  13. I love it!!

    Before this all you guys were speculating that he was left off the Cuba roster b/c he was in a playoff race. And anyone who questioned Bradley for not calling him was a moron for not recognizing it.

    Now when Cooper says that club (and his ankle) is before country he has screwed himself and shouldn’t be asked back.

    Play nice now children.

  14. Really i dont see why all the Cooper hate. hes a good player and people want to see if he can hack it.

    i mean is it any different than alitdore. When he came up he was this amazing talent, great attributes, good eye for goal. and now after some proven games against mexico and other friendlies, we know he is worthwhile.

    Cooper has the potential to be good, thats why everyone is on him and pissing people off. After brian mcbride retired, we need new attacking options. and the long ball play into the box will not consistently work against higher tier competition.

    EJ has proven that he needs to learn how to strike again. Ching is a wily vet who will battle in the trenches. Alitdore is the young guy who will be very good. however beyond that there is a question mark (granted im counting donovan as a midfielder)

    To all the cooper haters. who cares. we all want the same thing. a damn good usmnt.

  15. Man, I just don’t get the hate.

    At this point, he has to ask himself the question, what’s more important:

    – helping his club get to the playoffs, in a league that doesn’t respect FIFA qualifying dates?


    – show his wares to the USMNT coaching staff in a meaningless game (the game is a friendly for the US and a qualifier for the T&T)

    For those of you that are saying that he thumbed his nose at BB and the USMNT, I’m really surprised by the hate.

    Given the kid gloves BB treats MLS, basically not calling MLS players if they are needed by their clubs, I’m sure BB is a little miffed, but I think he understands. That said, I think KC has to show up to the last qualifier which, again, will be a friendly for the US (against Guat) on Wed, 11/19.

  16. To be honest, I can think of several players in both Europe and South America who have turned down caps and cited club team commitments… and in almost all those situations the coach held a grudge and stopped calling the player up.

    Now I HOPE both Bradley takes the high road here and brings KC back in January. But do I expect it? Not really. I respect Kenny’s honesty, but some times you need to put practicality first.

  17. FC Dallas made the choice for him – I guarantee you. “20 minutes for the US, or getting FCD in the playoffs and another home game ($$$) for the organization? And you want help getting to Europe??? You are playing at RSL, case closed…”

  18. Jamie Z,

    The data we do have is that Cooper turned down an invitation and issued a statement saying he was hurt and the game wasn’t very important. So, we do have data – everything else is speculation. Given the history here, I doubt his turning it down helped his cause.

  19. BREAKING NEWS: U.S. soccer fans are just as fickle, capricious, judgmental, short sighted, and reactionary as soccer fans everywhere else.

  20. Jloome -it’s not jingoistic when the games don’t interfere with each other (if he ends up up the EPL he’ll be expected to play 2x week) and as you alluded to his injury is a joke of an excuse. He’s being a baby (“wah, i din’t called in for an ipmotant game”)who has a big head. He just lost me as a fan. And not because of “jingoistic” reasons.

  21. It’s funny how people make fun of the obsession with Kenny Cooper when it’s pretty obvious here that there’s way more Cooper hate out there.

  22. Every coach in Europe hates the impact of national team callups, even with the off-days for official matches, because they’re still affected by friendlies all year and don’t always get postponments. Plus, they have games in close proximity to each other; look how many times Man U has last second “injuries” that keep guys off national teams.

    So Cooper probably just sent them a clear message that he’s a club first guy, with everyone expecting him to go somewhere there next year. Smart.

    Beyond that, he knows at his age that he’ll get his due with the Nats eventually. And he gets to send Bradley a warning shot by scoring two the same weekend, making the point of who the in-form guy is instead of going to a meaningless nats game.

    Love all the jingoistic “my country or go home” stuff here. Real sensible.

  23. And another thing people – please stop comparing Ching to EJ. If you can’t se the value of Ching stop watching soccer. I doubt Ching would ever turn down the NT even when hurt or if he had a game the same f-ing day. That guy is as deserving as anyone to get call ups and he give 100%. Oh and yes….he scores goals. I’m really sick of all the ching bashing – especially in light of this KC BS.

  24. Just glad to hear that he actually got a call.

    Does this put to rest the claim that BB had not called him in before so he could stay with Dallas and help them into the playoffs?

    Funny that he now gets the call when Dallas really does need to him for the playoff push.

    Is BB playing mind games?

  25. TNT game is Wed….Dallas plays Sat night. The games don’t interfere with one another. He just played 90 with out the sign of limp two days ago.

    Either he’s a)pissed off and said no or b)he thinks he’s so good that he will make the team at a later date or c)both.

    Players play up injuries all the time to avoid national team call ups. Looking at the way he played against TFC this seems to be the case. And furthermore, Landon – the one people on this site love to call a girl – played for the Galaxy last night – after going 90 the DAY BEFORE. A Wed NT game with a Sat club game should be no problem for KC.

  26. Well, if Bradley and the NT get their feelings hurt just because Cooper was being honest, then that’s their problem. Cooper’s absolutely right. Why hinder his recovery and jeopardize his team for the playoffs when the US has already secured a berth in the next round of WCQ. The away game at T&T is moot. I admire his commitment to his team.

  27. couple things: I believe that Denmark game was not an ‘A’ friendly, so it doesn’t count as a cap. The Guatemala game does, of course.

    For those who think he can play for England; whose spot do you see him taking? Wayne Rooney? Dafoe? Hesky? Maybe he can drop to the midfield and take theo Walcott’s spot?

    While I am sure Bradley appreciated him saying he was offered a spot and turned it down due to illness and injury, Ives is right, if he wanted to play ever he should have ended there. For a man with no national team chops at all to publically call put the manager is absurd. The good ship cooper has sailed, barring major injury to Jozy. Sorry kenny.

  28. Cooper is not yet cap tied – only official A matches cap tie a player. These include Gold Cup, WCQ, and World Cup matches – not friendlies. That’s why Chris Armas (Puerto Rico) and Jeff Cunningham (Jamaica) were able to play for us.

  29. Ives. I agree with you about the comment he made about playing for Dallas FC but how many time, He waited for Bob Bradley to call him back to USNMT. It took for ever, how many time he call EJ or Ching over a guy who been playing a good futball and scoring goals. I think Bob B. Should remember that they are in the playoff and that he’d coach an MLS team before. All I hope is that he should give him a nother call to play against Guatemala and the HEX. I think with Robbie, Davis, Altidore, Donovan, and Kenny Cooper we have a very strong attacking force.. GO USA

  30. Last night I posted on the US-Cuba thread about Cooper declining the USMNT invite, but my comment was removed. In any event, never again will I ask about Cooper getting called up.

  31. Doesn’t some of the wisdom of saying that a) his team is in the playoff race and b) he’s not hurting the US’ qualification chances by staying with FCD depend at least in part on whether or not he talked about the same things with Bradley when he got the call-up?

    Sure, this could be KC saying, “Screw you, Bob, next time call me for a game that matters.” But it seems that it could (also) be his saying, “Look, Bob, if you absolutely need me to come, if this is a make or break NT thing for me, then I’ll be there. But I’m playing beat up right now, FCD is fighting for the playoffs, and the team doesn’t need me there to fight for points, so is it okay by you if I wait until Guatemala or Camp Cupcake?” If he already said it to Bradley, why not say it in public?


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