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.