Friday Kickoff: John to trial with Chicago, Cooper’s Plymouth deal done and more

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The Chicago Fire reconstruction project has already brought the Fire new additions Julio Martinez and Krzysztof Krol (as well as head coach Carlos De Los Cobos), but now Chicago could be moving closer to adding a new striker.

Former Fulham striker Collins John is set to join the Chicago Fire on a trial during the club's training camp in Phoenix, sources told SBI on Friday. John was a teammate of Fire star Brian McBride at Fulham, but has seen his once-promising career hit the skids. He most recently played for Belgian club Roeselare, which released him in December.

John, 24, first made a name for himself after scoring 11 goals for Fulham during the 2005/2006 season, but never quite lived up to that high standard again, bouncing around five different clubs since.

Here are some other stories to get your Friday going:


U.S. national team striker Kenny Cooper's loan move to English side Plymouth Argyle has been completed, 1860 Munich announced on its website.

"I know both coaches at Plymouth, Paul Mariner and John Carver from my spell in the MLS," Cooper said. "I know I am getting my chance to recommend myself for the World Cup squad of my country. Hopefully I'll be able to score goals to help Plymouth win."

The loan deal came together after a falling out between Cooper and 1860 Munich manager Ewald Lienen over playing time. German reports cited an argument between Lienen and Cooper's father, Ken Sr., with ultimately leading to a move being made.

It remains unclear when Cooper will be eligible to play for Plymouth.


The Philly Union scored a major coup by sealing a deal to have its matches shown locally on network affiliate 6ABC, the club announced on Thursday. The Union had already added respected play-by-play announcer JP Dellacamera to its staff.



Juventus fires Ciro Ferrara

Eidur Gudjohnsen signs with Tottenham on loan

Anderson on verge of Lyon loan deal


What do you think of these developments? Think John could revive his career in MLS? Glad to see Cooper heading to Plymouth? Think Rafa Benitez will wind up at Juventus?

Share your thoughts below.

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64 Responses to Friday Kickoff: John to trial with Chicago, Cooper’s Plymouth deal done and more

  1. The Original Situation says:

    wow… collins john could be a 15+ guy…

    plus he is young… wonder why his career went south

  2. Josh D says:

    Based on his Wiki page, seems John is a bit of trouble. Was a good talent back in his Fulham days and if he can find some form with McBride, we may have a very solid partnership.

  3. OmarVizquel says:

    If Juventus buys out Rafa’s remaining Liverpool contract (like has been rumored), he could very well be gone. If not, Liverpool doesn’t have the funds to buy him out.

  4. B 16 says:

    Too much tweeting for John causing the downturn of his career?

  5. GO USA says:

    cool I get 6abc, looks like I’m gonna get to watch them.

  6. Scott says:

    He’s only 24 and has already scored many goals on the biggest stage… this guy could do great things in Chicago… hopefully.

  7. William Franklin says:

    I’m more interested in seeing what happens with Juan Agudelo. Any updates there?

  8. Jim from NC says:

    I have never been a big Coooper fan. I hope Bradley does not pick him for the World Cup. Who wants a dad tagging along fussing about playing time.

  9. Murphy says:

    Kenny Cooper=the Adam James of soccer? How was his father involved?

    Good move by Philly.

    Collins John should be good in MLS.

  10. Should Toyota Park put a cottage in the corner of the stadium? It’d have to sell empanadas though.

  11. wilyboy says:

    Please let Cooper kick Casey off the plane. I want to see that lazy sasquatch gone. Cooper has far more technical skill, is faster, and inarguably has better striking technique.

  12. ko'd says:

    Rangers agreed to transfer terms with Sporting Lisbon for Pedro Mendes. One fewer person in the pecking order for Edu to overcome for playing time.

  13. Andy in Atlanta says:

    Collins John is the laziest sick note you will ever come across… when he was loaned out from Fulham to NEC… the NEC coach said he was so unfit that he could not last 25 mins on the pitch… And mind you..he is no Blanco

  14. Aaron in StL says:

    If he hadn’t realized it yet, Collins John has hit rock bottom in terms of his soccer career. Usually it’s Americans/MLSers having to trial everywhere they go in Europe…now he’s not even guaranteed a spot in Chicago, that must suck.

  15. Judging Amy says:

    Probably not faster. Well maybe, but you wouldn’t know it from the way he plays. I agree with everything else, although as to on the field effectiveness IMO they’re both about the same if you were to play them in the World Cup (Casey gets the slight edge for performing in a high pressure situation against Honduras). Hopefully neither one sees the field at the WC.

  16. Tony in Quakeland says:

    The best description I ever heard of Cooper is that he’s six foot three 220 pounder who thinks he’s a 5 foot tall Brazilian. He clearly has some skills, but he is not going to dribble past top flight defenders and he has never shown the passing vision needed by a forward who likes to take the ball wide and dribble into the box. Even in years when he has scored lots of goals in MLS, he took so many shots and was so selfish I wondered if he didn’t cost his team more goals than he scored.

    I think he will have some success with his new club, but he is not versatile enough to include on the WC squad.

  17. Joe says:

    Is calling someone “no Blanco” an insult? All Blanco did was jog around the pitch making his team mates look like a fool if they made a bad pass. Then go take a free kick and kick it out of the stadium. Corners barely make the near post. I would rather have John than Blanco.

  18. Vman says:

    Did Kenny Cooper really say “…the MLS”? If so, he’ll fit in quite nicely in England.

    (SBI-It was a quote taken from the Munich website that a British website then edited, so the quote itself is probably not quite what Cooper said specifically. Also, people say “The MLS” all the time, it’s incorrect but it’s not THAT serious.”)

  19. mwc says:

    Collins John could light up MLS if he finds some work ethic. Given that he has not gotten it so far, this is an interesting gamble for Chicago. Cooper is not worthy of a spot on the USMNT even with the lack of depth at striker.

  20. Tony in Quakeland says:

    One more thought. The reason Casey is in front of Cooper (although I don’t want either in SA) is because Casey can function as a target forward. He doesn’t have Cooper’s skills, but he knows how to be a big man

  21. Ives Evil Twin says:

    It looks like this year the MLS is getting failed European players. Is the MLS Europe’s graveyard?

  22. Manny F says:

    You guys put too much mind to “the MLS.” Garber says it all the time.

  23. Rekro says:

    Does anyone know anything about this Plymouth team?

    The only thing I know about them is that Shaun Wright-Phillips’ brother plays for them.

  24. gerald says:

    I agree on that comparison

  25. Jim from NC says:

    I completely agree with your assessment of Cooper. he does not know how to use his body and be a target player. I liken him to the 7ft basketball player that wants to shoot from the wing instead of post up. Learn to use your body.

  26. William the Terror says:

    I’m going to ask MY DAD if he can me transferred to a law frim in England.

  27. fischy says:

    If Juventus buys out Rafa’s remaining Liverpool contract, then I think we can go beyond “could very well be gone” — unless they’re planning to loan him back to coach Liverpool for the rest of the season….

  28. William the Terror says:

    poor typing. sorry. that’s “get me transferred” and “law firm.”

  29. fischy says:

    I think they have higher editing standards there.

  30. Charles says:

    Does anyone know how the economics works on these television deals ?

    The Sounder’s games play once live on an NBC affiliate, then replayed 3 times on the regional Fox station for every game.

    Are they making bank, paying bank, somewhere in between ?

    It is great for the exposure, what about the pocketbook ?

  31. fischy says:

    Aahh — ya beat me to it.

  32. William the Terror says:

    yeah. i was trying to eat with chopsticks in one hand and type with the other. so much for multitasking.

  33. Charles says:

    It is tough being THE MLS, with not enough supporting soccer in THIS country, but I hardly think that Landon, Beckh, Ljungberg, etc. are failed European players.

    Maybe the last two ( and the etc. ) are past their prime, but they are still VERY capable of playing in Europe.

  34. Sninho says:

    His Dad is his agent and a former professional footballer himself. If I’m lead to believe correctly, his father, as his agent, approached the coach about more playing time in an attempt to position himself for a world cup spot. I don’t think he was trying to tell the coach how to do his job, but nevertheless the coach was insulted by the approach.

  35. ko'd says:

    Maybe the law firms in England don’t require bluebooking/proofing, eh? I KID.

  36. Sninho says:

    I think Anderson should come play in the MLS….

    Everyone makes crazy assumptions that young Americans not playing should come back to the MLS, why not young brazilians?

  37. Mikemike says:

    I think regular FSC is in HD now on cablevision. Anyone else see this?

  38. Vman says:

    I just thought it was funny, certainly not a big deal. Ives, I love reading the SBI. Best blog on the ‘net.

  39. Jordan says:

    Does anyone know about guy Daniel Williams who plays in the Bundesliga for Freiburg? Yanks Abroad is reporting he has dual citizenship?

  40. michael vann says:

    His father is not his agent. Sr. may act as de facto agent but Kon Schramm is actually the agent. Given Sr.’s background he’s well qualified to handle Jr.’s matters but the agent work is done by Schramm.

  41. Tony T says:

    Come back to Dallas Coop. We’ll let you start over here.

  42. scott47a says:


  43. einar says:

    millionarios havent signed him yet. VIVA COLOMBIA!

  44. Judging Amy says:

    Yep. EJ the GAM gets flak for only being able to score against minnows yet Cooper gets praised for his “incredible” strike rate. Coop’s four goals have come against Honduras, Panama, Guat, and Denmark in pretty low pressure games. I think one of those goals was a pk too. I’m not trying to hate I just don’t understand why some think KC’s going to come on and change the striker situation for the Nats.
    I think its pretty obvious why Bob doesn’t give him games.

  45. jig says:

    agreed. he must suck too, not sure why people are so excited.

  46. jig says:

    I’m with you. who is this kid? iiiiiiives? you know you’re thinking about him.

  47. Andy in Atlanta says:

    What I was saying is…Blanco can have an impact on the game despite not fitness any more… John can’t..his game is based on speed and occasional finishing skill…he will never see the field for Chicago IMHO… He is a selfish, lazy player with no drive at all…abusive to his coaches as well.

  48. Austin says:

    deciding whether to sign with NYRB still, BUT he is going with them to the La Manga in Spain to check it out in the pre-season so there is a good chance he will be impressed….the talent NY has on the team and has on trial now is more impressive than what Millonarios, coaching as well…..i will be shocked if he doesnt fancy it after La Manga

  49. jh says:

    The Dirk Nowitzki of soccer?? I’d take that from Cooper.

  50. Austin says:

    OH MY GOODNESS! HE IS UNBELIEVABLE! He has…..oh no wait, wrong player…..

    he plays for there B TEAM, give it a break

    whats the need for everybody to flip out when they see somebody switching nationalities, this guy is nowhere near what you guys are thinking of… was bigger news when Mikkel Diskerud announced that he would play for the US

  51. Scott says:

    John obviously has talent if he played for Fulham AND scored goals… at only 24 Chicago can easily get him fit and maybe now that he knows is career is depending on being successful, maybe he will get his head on straight.

  52. Austin says:

    they wouldnt be interested in it….i assure you

    if brazilians were interested in coming to MLS, you wouldnt see every single one flying back to Brazil when they are in poor form…..they are interested in there own country to gain confidence and get into the world cup, just like what Michael Orozco is doing here

    if players didnt care about going back to their home, MLS could have landed Robinho….but that will never happen, its not just the money issue either

  53. Nick says:

    Looking at Collins John is the sort of risk you have to take if you want to be successful in MLS. Take him on trial, test his work ethic, and if it works out you can get a good player for a good value.

  54. Slyboy says:

    Right….. Im not even a Fire fan and i saw what Blanco contributed to that team.

  55. will m. says:

    jack wilshere getting loaned to bolton adds another obstacle into holden getting some decent playing time

  56. jig says:

    dude, relax. was I flipping out? I just would like to get some additional info on him. he’s a guy no one has ever heard of. he got on the field for a bundesliga side, that at least warrants some kind of attention.

    You alright with that?

  57. Kudos to the Union for securing network TV coverage. @RapidsSoccer…any ideas?

  58. Brian says:

    Yeah I noticed that myself too, haha.

    It’s not that big of deal, but still, it sounds frickin stupid…The Major League Soccer.

  59. Brian says:

    From the looks of him and his last name my guess is his father is African-American (maybe an American soldier stationed in Germany, ala Jermaine Jones’ dad)

    He started for SC Freiburg against VfB Stuttgart last Friday at right back. I’ve never heard of this kid before, makes you wonder how many other footballers with American soldier Dads & German mothers are out there.

    I’ll hold off on the cap him now chant, but he’s definitely someone to watch and it doesn’t look like he’s ever been capped by any German youth level teams. Maybe some friendlies post-World Cup?

  60. Blast says:

    When you score as many goals as Cooper has, (49 goals in 119 professional games) it doesn’t matter who you score them against, you are still worth a look.

    Bradley hasn’t used Cooper more probably because his current style doesn’t necessarily fit in with what the USMNT does best and how they are trying to play. On the offensve side the US is primarily a counterattacking and set piece team. But styles change so, if Cooper starts scoring at his usual rate, he will get some consideration.

    From what I’ve seen of him he does use his size, or rather his length. It makes it easier for him to shield to ball. I’ve played against guys built like him and they are an enormous pain to defend. Goal scorers are by definition “selfish” but I wouldn’t say that means he is not a team player.

    Cooper Sr. was not only a coach but he has been a long time general manager so it isn’t as if he doesn’t know what he is doing in terms of the managerial and administrative side of things.

    This loan move to Plymouth is a very good thing for Cooper Jr. so I would say Cooper Sr. got what he wanted.

  61. Hush says:

    As American footballers playing in Europe your best bet is to keep both your family’s and your mouth shut!… cooper hasn’t done anything in the futbol world to be complaining about playing time. Ride the bench until your time comes Cooper.

  62. Hush says:

    A USMNT goalkeeper prospect Quin didn’t make the Rangers cut. I would like for this guy to come over MLS and prove that he is that good. Any news on this guy Ives? Maybe trying out for a different SPL club.

  63. Jon from Chicago says:

    Being a fan of the Chicago Fire, Im very excited about the trial of Collins John. If he doesn’t come to work ready to get stuff done we cut him, and if he comes with a good attitude (with McBride pushing him along) we have a striker who played well in the EPL. I think its a win win. Can’t wait to cheer him on from Section 8 this season!