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Report: Cooper headed to Plymouth on loan (UPDATED)

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A transfer move that started with so much promise has reportedly come to an abrupt end for Kenny Cooper.

The U.S. national team striker and former FC Dallas star appears to have played his last game at 1860 Munich after, according to reports out of Germany, an argument over playing time helped precipitate a move to English Championship side Plymouth Argyle on loan.

Sky Sports is reporting that no deal has been done, but that Cooper would be open to a move to Plymouth.

(UPDATE-Plymouth officials, including manager Paul Mariner, have told Yanks Abroad thatno deal for Cooper is done and that 1860 Munich has jumped the gun.)

If a deal goes through, Cooper would join former New England Revolution assistant and current Plymouth manager Paul Mariner on a squad currently in the League Championship relegation zone, with Mariner hoping that Cooper could help an offense that has scored a league-low 22 goals this season.

Things reportedly turned messy for Cooper at 1860 after his father and 1860 Munich manager Ewald Lienen argued over Cooper's playing time. According to Lienen, Cooper's father insisted that Cooper needed to play more in order to help his World Cup chances.

Those with long memories will recall Lienen's last run-in with an American too eager for more playing time. Back in 2004, Clint Mathis wound up in Lienen's doghouse when both were at Hannover 96 when Mathis pointed to his watch in the direction of Lienen after scoring a goal as a second-half substitute. Mathis eventually found a permanent place on the bench soon after and ultimately returned to MLS in the next transfer window.

What is our take on the situation? A move to Plymouth wouldn't be a terrible one for Cooper. He would be going to a manager who is very familiar with his abilities and also a manager who is far more of a player's coach than Lienen, a reputed taskmaster. The whole Lienen-Cooper's father fiasco seems like a strange thing for Lienen to air out publicly, but it should be noted that Kenny Cooper Sr. has acted as Cooper's agent in the past and could have been acting in that capacity when he addressed concerns about playing time with Lienen. Either way, it looks like Cooper needs a change of scenery and he could do worse than Plymouth.

What do you think of this story? Disappointed to see Cooper leave Germany? Think Plymouth is a better place for him?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. 2nd division either way. At least he can speak the language, and is with a coach who respects the leage where he had most of his success. not a bad play even if they do get relegated, if he scores goals he could catch on with another Champ. side

  2. Cooper “dominated” in MLS? How many championships did he win? How many MVPs?

    He’s not even a consistent member of the National Team.

    Yes, he scored some goals, but I do not think his performance abroad has any bearing on the quality of MLS. I might also suggest that he tell his daddy to pipe down and let his play do the talking.

  3. From Wikipedia:

    “Cooper began his career with the Blackburn Rovers. He decided to leave England for the North American Soccer League. He signed with the Dallas Tornado and quickly established himself as the team’s keeper of choice, playing twenty games that season. In 1971, injuries limited him to nine games, but the Tornado won the NASL championship. In 1972 and 1973, he was named a first team All Star and in 1975, he was a second team All Star.


    In 1979, Cooper retired from playing and was immediately hired to replace Timo Liekoski as the head coach of the Houston Summit of Major Indoor Soccer League. Cooper took the Summit to the 1980 MISL championship game, where it lost to the New York Arrows. In 1984, he coached the Blast to its only championship in the original MISL and was the 1984 and 1988 MISL Coach of the Year. Cooper also served as the Blast’s general manager. With the collapse of the Blast, Cooper was instrumental in the forming of the Baltimore Spirit in July 1992. The Spirit entered the indoor National Professional Soccer League. Cooper took the Spirit to the playoffs in both of his seasons as coach. In 1994, stepped down as head coach, but remained as the team president. In 1995, Cooper joined with Bill Collins, a minor-league baseball owner, to enter an exspansion team into the NPSL. He went on to serve as general manager and coach for the team, known as the Tampa Bay Terror. He took the team to a 14-26 record and was replaced by Perry Van der Beck for the 1996-1997 season.”

  4. to green: guilty as charged re: foosball. still, yanks seem to adapt better in england, and i think for cultural as much as sporting reasons. seems like many players there get in the doghouse easily…let’s face it, it’s not known for touchy-feely managers. Of course english players typically flop there too (when they can be convinced to go that is) and to an extent vice versa.

  5. I would argue that.

    First of all I don’t believe everything I read especially when it’s Lienen the manager saying Cooper Sr. said all tht stuff. Cooper Sr. has a very long and respected career as a player, manager and agent.

    Second of all if Cooper Jr. is truly now with Paul Mariner that’s a good thing. Mariner is a great coach and was a former England center forward. Not a bad role model for Cooper. If Kenny does well for Plymouth it could lead to some good things.

  6. So why repeat them ad nauseum? Once the thought is posted by someone before you, it’s no longer “yours”. Don’t be a parrot, people!

  7. Cooper definitely should shuck Dad being his agent, if that’s the case. It could have just been his dad acting on his own and voicing concern.

    Regardless, I would have to think Cooper is on Bradley’s radar. Altidore and Ching I think are definites. The interesting thing to see will be what works out with Davies. The reports on him being ahead of rehab schedule have been encouraging, but I would still have to think it would be maybe a 25-30% chance that he goes. So, that leaves Casey and Cooper as back-ups as far as I can see. If Davies were to go, then I would think either Casey or Cooper get left home.

  8. We really do not know what was said, or how it was said. Everything being said on this board is pure speculation.

    The interview on Yanks Abroad from Cooper Sr. when the switch was being made, he seemed to be pretty level headed about player values and MLS. He did not sound like a Dad protecting his kid. He sounded more like a professional who understands the global player market. He is his agent.

    The record of Lienen is public. He is a 1-2 year Manager at each of his clubs. His leadership style is questionable.

    There is a report that Lienen and his staff pissed off the Greek players he was coaching. The result was he was fired.

    “According to “Lienen,” Cooper’s father insisted that Cooper needed to play more in order to help his World Cup chances.”

    The source is Lienen. Das stimmt nicht, glaube ich.

  9. Doesn’t matter if Coop plays or doesn’t play; whether his dad talks or doesn’t talk to the manager Coop isn’t even being considered for the WC at least not the one in SA this summer.

  10. Anyone who was around these blogs saw that I wasn’t exactly approving of Kenny Cooper. He’s grown on me though, and while doesn’t have, or refuses to use his target striker skills, He’ got incredible skill, shiftiness, finishing, and tactical aptitude for a guy his size. He’s a guy in the Roy Makaay role where his job is to create and/or finish goal-scoring opportunities out of basically anything and nothing. That kind of forward doesn’t always work for the USA who need someone up top who knows how to hold the ball(i.e. Ching, Altidore, Casey) since their midfield isn’t made up of the best possession holders, but I think we’re coming to an age where that might change. With players like Torres, Feilhaber, and Holden starting to break the ranks and looking like future starters more and more every day, Cooper’s growth is definitely something to keep an eye on.

  11. Do any of you read the previous posts before weighing in with your expert opinion? Of the 70 or so posts on the KC subject, at least 60 say the EXACT SAME THING! Really, are you THAT desperate to see your words in print? Some of your next original thoughts will be your FIRST!

  12. hahahahaha

    Absolutely. Then back to MLS with his tail tucked between his legs. Can’t wait to see who overpays for the rights to land Eddie Johnson, Freddy Adu, and Kenny Cooper one day.

  13. You must know that Germans, in general, have a laugh at Bayern’s expense on an almost daily basis.

    Bayern is the exception, not the norm. You can’t really say Bayern = German football. Anybody that follows German football gets that.

    Just saying.

    And do you really think they are threatened by Americans? The only Americans they are threatened by right now is the CIA.

  14. For a tall guy, Cooper isn’t that good with his head, is he?

    Is this a curse of tall players? Do Coaches see someone tall and think “Man, they’ll be killer with headers in the box” when in all reality, how much of a difference would three to five inches have in getting to a ball that is coming into the box on a high cross (12-15 feet high at its highest point) that probably isn’t goint to be in a perfect position for anyone anyway?

    I wondered if the “he must be good, he’s tall… oh wait, he’s just as bad as out other three guys” curse isn’t what has made a journeyman out of Nate Jaqua (traded from LA to Houstan then picked by Seattle in the Expansion draft after Houstan decided he wasn’t worth protecting)

  15. Maybe it’s because BB saw that Cunningham did MUCH better with the same team then Cooper did. Seriously… you’re trashing BB for looking at a guy who did a better job than Cooper at the exact same team in the same season.


    And yes, Clark will get lest time for the Nats because he’s probably not going to be playing as much overseas and, oh yeah, Clark got most of his playing time because Edu was hurt.

  16. Ok, so his daddy is his agent. We get that. But how many times have we heard that a player had to move because his agent got in a fight with his coach? Uhm… not often. That’s the problem with relative-managers… it’s a whole other mess of emotions. If someone ignores/pisses off your agent you might get upset, but if they ignore/blow off you dad…

  17. 1. as an FCD season ticket holder I can say that he was at best a mixed blessing. very popular, hustled his ass off, but did a lot of waseful running. not that he’s a role model, but look at carlos ruiz- smaller than cooper and twice as physical, knew how to use muscle and guile in the box (OK, dive alot too).

    2. yanks considering a move abroad, quit with germany. the footballing culture there is threatened by americans (and those yank-influenced like klinsi). look at donovan’s reception there vs. england. mathis is a pain but in most leagues his antics would be the norm. ballack got out and seems a helluva lot happier.


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