PORTLAND, Ore.— The Portland Timbers have signed forward Kenny Cooper pending the receipt of his International Transfer Certificate, it was announced today. Cooper, a member of the U.S. National Team in 2010, joins the Timbers for their inaugural Major League Soccer campaign after two seasons in Germany with TSV 1860 Munich. Timbers general manager/technical director Gavin Wilkinson made the announcement.
Cooper, 26, was transferred to 2.Bundesliga (second division) side 1860 Munich in 2009 after four standout seasons in MLS from 2006-09 with FC Dallas. In MLS, he tallied 40 goals and 10 assists in 90 regular-season matches and was named to the MLS Best XI and an MLS All-Star in 2008.
“The addition of Kenny is a great signing for the organization,” said Wilkinson. “His experience in both the league and abroad bolsters our frontline and adds a proven MLS goal scorer to our roster.”
A native of Dallas, Texas, Cooper was a member of the U.S. National Team the last four years (2007-10). He earned his first cap and scored his first international goal against Denmark in 2007. He helped the U.S. National Team reach the finals of the 2009 CONCACAF Gold Cup, appearing in five games and scoring two goals in the tournament. He was named to the 2009 Gold Cup All-Tournament Team. Cooper has played 11 games and scored five goals in international competition.
“Kenny has valuable MLS experience and he knows what it takes to score goals and win in this league,” said John Spencer, head coach of the Timbers. “It’s a great, great signing for the club.”
“I am really excited to be returning to MLS and joining the Portland Timbers for their inaugural MLS season,” said Cooper. “It is a great privilege to come to Portland, where there is a long-standing tradition and a deep passion for the team and the game. It is also extra special to be in the hometown of my adidas family. I am appreciative for the belief that owner Merritt Paulson, coach John Spencer and Gavin Wilkinson have shown in me. I am looking forward to wearing Timbers green, and I hope to make the Timbers Army and all those associated with the club proud.”
Cooper signed with FC Dallas in 2006 and made an immediate impact, finishing his first MLS season among league leaders with 11 goals. Cooper, who was a two-time team MVP with Dallas, had a breakout season in 2008, scoring a team-high 18 goals and finishing second among the league’s top scorers. He was named the MLS Comeback Player of the Year in 2008 after his 2007 campaign was cut short due to injury. Cooper led FC Dallas to a pair of playoff appearances and ranks among the club’s all-time career leaders in goals scored.
From FC Dallas, Cooper was transferred 1860 Munich on July 31, 2009, and scored in his club debut. In total, he made 15 first-team appearances with the German club across all competition and logged three goals; a series of injuries limited his time on the field.
Cooper’s professional career began in 2004 with English Premier League club Manchester United at the age of 18. While at Manchester United, Cooper spent time on loan with English club Oldham Athletic, where he scored three goals in five starts.
Born: Oct. 21, 1984, in Baltimore, Md.
Hometown: Dallas, Texas
Last Club: TSV 1860 Munich (Germany)
Citizenship: United States