Red Bulls deal Cooper to FC Dallas for allocation money


The New York Red Bulls have spent much of the off-season trying to trade Kenny Cooper, but finding a team with both the salary cap space to fit Cooper’s significant 2013 salary, and the allocation money to give the Red Bulls.

FC Dallas became just such a team after their sale of Brek Shea, and on Monday the team that had Cooper before will have him once again after securing a trade for the big striker.

Sources tell SBI that Dallas acquired Cooper for $200,000 in allocation money. The deal comes on the same day FC Dallas secured the trade for Eric Hassli from Toronto FC.

Cooper returns to FC Dallas, where he spent four seasons before departing for Europe. The former MLS All-Star finished the 2012 season with 18 goals in 27 matches for the Red Bulls. That lofty number didn’t keep him off the chopping block though, as the Red Bulls decided early on that his big 2012 goal tally was not an accurate measure of his likely future contributions.

With Cooper set to make $370,000 in 2013, the Red Bulls decided to deal him in order to free up room on the salary cap to clear the way for a third Designated Player, which the team is expected to add this summer.

So why wouldn’t the Red Bulls keep Cooper? There was a strong belief within the organization that Cooper’s goal tally was more a product of the team’s service than Cooper’s own quality, and that finding a more reasonably-priced alternative could yield them similar results. The club also needed to make a deal to create some salary cap room for an expected high-profile Designated Player signing in the summer.

What do you think of the deal? Think the Red Bulls are making a mistake? See FC Dallas doing well with a forward trio of Cooper, Hassli and Blas Perez?

Share your thoughts below.

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89 Responses to Red Bulls deal Cooper to FC Dallas for allocation money

  1. T-lover says:

    Like you said Ives on Twiiter, RBNY secured $200K in allocation. That plus Cooper’s $370K cap hit in 2013 means $570K swing for NY & room for more signings. I thought Cooper production, was because of the team he was playing for.

    • Gnarls says:

      Many of Cooper’s goal highlights were really Henry assist highlights.

      • Sabella says:

        I don’t subscribe to this theory. I know Henry believes all of Kenny’s goals were a result of his highness’exquisite touch. How many 18 goals per season strikers did we have in 2011 and 2010? Surely, he must have some ability. RBNY better line up a top notch DP because I fear the lack of depth up front.

      • Nate says:

        As a Fire fan, I fully support RBNY for this line of thinking: trading away proven goal scorers in exchange for the promise of less expensive but better players.

    • Sean says:

      Unless Cooper wanted out, this is a stupid trade. Cooper’s positional sense was very strong. You can’t just take away his credit for almost twenty goals. You take away Cooper and you have Henry, etc, passing to whomever and they may or may not be in such a position to score as he was. I want Henry gone after this year. I’m tired of him throwing his weight around.

  2. Josh says:

    Really would have loved to keep him, but they simply couldn’t afford him if they wanted a third DP. Guy played with a ton of heart and was fun to watch. Felt really bad for him when he missed that second PK attempt against DC. I wish him the best.

    • DCLee says:

      Yeah and he made the first one but someone on NYRB was 8 feet inside the penalty area when it was taken…who would that have been(insert sarcasm). As a DC fan I was happy to see Henry and 2-3 other NYRB players have a brain fart but felt for Cooper especially since it was his play that set that up. I wish him and luck and have a feeling that he will contribute back at his old stomping grounds. 2 good gets for FCD yesterday.

  3. NiceBull says:

    Boo! Kenny is a very nice guy and great to watch. I’d see him on the street in Hoboken and he’d always be talkative and friendly. Will miss him.

  4. Abe says:

    Huge Mistake. All they’re left with is Henry + Espindola. One injury, and they’re done. Won’t have any weapons coming off the bench.

  5. downintexas says:

    Were getting the band back together. Great pick up FCD

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  7. Alex says:

    I guess that what you get for scoring more goals than coach Henry. Such a shit move. Now lets bring in someone from English D3 or South America who will cost the same $ and score maybe 2-3 goals in 2 seasons

  8. Tommy says:

    “There was a strong belief within the organization that Cooper’s goal tally was more a product of the team’s service than Cooper’s own quality, and that finding a more reasonably-priced alternative could yield them similar results.”

    Seriously?? How many 18+ goal scorers are there in MLS each year? Maybe they can give Henry a hand puppet and let the puppet score 18 goals.

    • Iggy says:

      Take away the PKs and the tap ins and KC is probably not in double digits in goals. A very good MLS player, but not worth the swing of $570K. Especially with since it either woud have meant espinola or Cooper to the bench. Both are too good for bench players in MLS (meaning too costly for beech players as well).

      • MB says:

        Ok. Let’s take away Wondo’s pk’s, tap-ins, and “goals that fell right into his lap” and say he actually scored about 15 goals last year. Fair right?

      • Sean says:

        I don’t like tap-in goals but they’re deserving of credit. They’re goals. And, Cooper was positionally sound to be where he could to put them in the net. Besides, we have Juninho for long range curving shots into the rope.

  9. The Dude says:

    Just so disappointed and pissed off right now. This team, and this league, have their values backwards. Cooper is exactly the kind of player who deserves to be paid DP money. But no, MLS teams would rather throw their money away on has-beens and foreign players with fancy-sounding names. Yes, Cooper needs service. But when is it a crime to be a pure finisher? He’ll go to FCD and continue to bang in the goals. Meanwhile, NY will struggle. Bad, bad job Mr. Petke. You needed to make the numbers add up, but instead you’re letting Henry and his ego run the show. Booooo!

    • Ceez says:

      Wow. Kenny Cooper is DP money? Please tell me you’re kidding. Please.

      • Ben says:

        Ceez- do the numbers. What does Wondo make? Answer: About the same as Cooper. That’s the market, and by the way, Cooper is younger and bigger.. Factor that in with the fact that Ken is something of a local icon, and this is a great deal for Dallas. They’ve parlayed Brek into Ken and Hassli- pretty good deal, me thinks.

  10. The Dude says:

    Another thing: I’ve never seen such a successful goal-scorer take so much crap for being good at what he does. I just can’t understand the bias against Cooper. How many players score 18+ goals per year? Who cares how they do it!

    • downintexas says:

      We alwaysed loved FrankenCooper in Dallas!

    • T-lover says:

      DP money? the guy had one good year, on a very good NYRB team. Look at his year in Portland, you will see what I mean. NYRB clear 570K from the cap, whcih means a better player.

      • 2tone says:

        You do realise Cooper played in MLS prior to him playing for Portalnd. In fact he played for Dallas and was a consistent 15 plus goal scorer.

      • Tommy says:

        He has had 3 very good seasons out of 4 complete MLS seasons.

        • T-lover says:

          That was before his injury. He is not the same player he used to be. When you play on a good team you score goals, its very simple.

          • Tommy says:

            2008 18 goals in 30 games for a 8 win Dallas team
            2009 7 goals in 15 games for a 11 win Dallas team.

            Both AFTER his injury.

            • T-lover says:

              When he was in Germany he had a number of injuries, it was the reason he failed there. In Portland he was not the same player, which is why they traded him. I watched a lot of NYRB games, most of his goals came from Henry, or Dax. The guy is not a money player.

              • Tommy says:

                backpedal further and you will find the truth

              • Thunderbear says:

                I watched every game in Portland he played in. He played himself into shape over the year and got back his scoring touch. John Spencer stupidly tried to make Cooper a target forward, which he has never been in his career. The entire Portland offense was designed for wings to bomb the ball into the box and Cooper or another forward to head the ball in. I’d have taken him back over Boyd any day of the week with a coach not stuck in a “this is the 1990s in England” coaching strategy, which was Spencer’s undoing.

    • ANM says:

      “Another thing: I’ve never seen such a successful goal-scorer take so much crap for being good at what he does.”

      I can think of only one: Roy Lassiter. The man got so little respect, he made Rodney Dangerfield look like Abraham Lincoln. If you judged by late 90s internet postings, you would think he was some schmoe who won a competition to be in his local team, rather than one of the greatest goal scorers of the early MLS years

      • DCLee says:

        LOL on the analogy. And a very accurate post. the guys was/is one of the great goal scorers in MLs history and gets crap for it.

        He did have a ton a chances against Zach Thorton in that 98 MLS Cup final though that he couldn’t finish unfortunately for DC.

  11. Abe says:

    You can’t replace Cooper. You can only try to replace him with a poor man’s substitute. No American players are available that will match his production. You could try a foreigner, but it usually takes them a full season to acclimate properly.

    So unless they are somehow able to unearth the second coming of Juan Pablo Angel, Red Bulls are in for a nasty wake-up call. Henry is only getting slower/older too – not sure how much longer his body will last.

  12. Kenny Cooper's Dad says:

    Sigh. I shoulda never let the boy leave Europe.

    • KennyCooper's read dad says:

      Sigh. I shoulda never let the boy leave Dallas in the first place. Glad he’s coming home!

    • Kenny Cooper's Dad says:

      He was the class of Manchester United, he was. But all they could see was that balding, pasty-faced Rooney kid. And then, Plymouth Argyle? How could I let him stay with a club named after a bankrupt automaker and an ugly pair of socks?

  13. Abe says:

    Wait – could this be a plan to free-up cap space to sign Freddy Adu?!? Only logical explanation.

    • Chicago Pete says:

      HAHAHAHA!!!! Please oh please sign him!!! That would be the feather in the cap of stupidity. Good on ya, Red Bulls!!! HAHAHAHA

      • T-lover says:

        Why? Freddy Adu is a number 10. MLS does not know how to handle American number tens. Adu would come to NY, and shine, because of the talent in NY. Adu shines with talent around him, and like Cooper would have a rebound season.

        • Tommy says:

          Slow down with the meth

        • Charod says:

          T, you gotta realize there are a ton of idiots out there who don’t understand how things work. 1. If Adu played for NYRB’s he’d finally play for someone he truly looks up to, a real European Star, he would be humble, work hard to prove his worth so one day he could get a good word from Henry to play over seas. 2. Who would you rather create chances for? Jack Mac and Pohoy or Henry and Cahill? Umm pretty obvious with that one.

          What is someone gonna say well Cahill isnt even on the current friendly roster for the Aussie’s?? Neither is Torres for Spain, so what lol… NYRB would be ideal for his talents, play as a real 10, something the USMNT needs desperately, maybe they can put his through balls into the back of the net, something the lame ass Union could not do, yet it was Adu’s fault because he makes 500k lol….so many novice minimum wage workers on the Union..

          • Chicago Pete says:

            Hey rod, I know exactly how things work. What has Freddy ever done to get your praise? Are you telling me that every team that he has played for in the past was not good enough for him? All of them? And now you think that the NYRB, yes I said the NYRB are the team for him? Like I said before, take him. Make him your number 10 and let the league laugh at your team even more.
            I have said it for years that I want Freddy to succeed. I want him to be the player we all hoped he would be. Not only for him but for the USMNT. I am not an Adu basher, I am realistic. But if you want him, since nobody else does, he is all yours!!!

          • Sean says:

            Hi Simon Borg, how are you? Still peddling the Adu as a playmaker bit? Still ignoring the fact that he’s been jettisoned from team after team for years? Getting praise early on in training, being put on the pitch, and eventually riding the pine and shipped elsewhere? Ok, Simon Borg.

            Have a good day.

  14. CPTKevin says:

    Bring back Luke!

  15. Tommy says:

    Maybe they are signing Paul Gascoigne, I hear he is coming to the US

  16. Pat Pug says:

    Cooper has had 3 double digit goal scoring seasons in his career folks. Lets not forget how streaky he can also be. I enjoyed his time here as a Red Bulls fan but he has yet to put together back to back years that warrant that kind of money. Of course, the RB front office needs to use the money wisely, but if they do this move is more than justified. There’s a lot of work to be done and now they have the money to do it.

    • Tommy says:

      Hey Pat Pug, you do realize Cooper has only played 4 FULL MLS seasons, right?
      Tyrone Marshall reckless tackle broke his leg in 2007 and he left in July of 2009 for Europe.
      2009 he had 7 goals in 15 games and 2007 4 goals in 14 games. Surely would have had 10+ in both had he played the entire seasons.

      • T-lover says:

        In Portland he sucked. The team is why he scored 18 goals, not because of his skill.

        • Tommy says:

          T-lover – what are you 2? KCJ played in MLS 4 full seasons and scored double digits goals in 3 of the 4. He also played 2 partial seasons and was on pace for double digit goals.
          some of those seasons were with mediocre to bad Dallas teams

          • T-lover says:

            That again was before the injuries, and his failure in Germany. He is not that same player, he was back then. In Portland you saw the player he has become. However give him Henry, and Dax, you have a player who scores 18 goals.

            • Tommy says:

              Here is what is simple – you are wrong. Cooper was injured in 2007

              2008 18 goals in 30 games for a 8 win Dallas team
              2009 7 goals in 15 games for a 11 win Dallas team.

              Both AFTER his injury.

  17. Adam M. says:

    Red Bulls bascially traded Kenny Cooper for a designated player to be named later. This should be seen as a vote of confidence in the Red Bulls offensive midfield. They got precious few goals from the mids last year, but Juninho and and a healthy Sam should add a lot more bite to the overall attack.

  18. Vic says:

    Not sure what Red Bull plans are to replace him. Does Espindola start in his place? Do they sign a foreign striker? Are they planning a big name DP? Any of these options present a very high risk to replace an 18 goal scorer. We know Henry didn’t like playing with Cooper. However, at Henry’s age the chances of him declining in production are very high.

  19. josh says:

    I had this really hot girlfriend once, but after a while, when I realized how beautiful and amazing she was, I kicked her to the curb figuring I could probably date a model.

  20. JL says:

    Ives, shouldn’t Dallas have already had close to that amount of allocation cash for missing the playoffs? They haven’t signed anyone except Luccin who certainly didn’t cost much. So shouldn’t they still have the bulk of the Shea money to buy down both Cooper and Hassli’s cap hits? Or does it not work like that when the contracts already exist within the league?

  21. Deez Bulls says:

    KC is trash. 18 spoon fed goals.

    • Tommy says:

      How many MLS players scored 18+ goals in a season over the past 4 years??

      Maybe they can give Henry a hand puppet and let the puppet score 18 goals.

      • T-lover says:

        I throw away those previous year in MLS, before Germany. When he came back we saw what kind of player he is. Did you watch any of NYRB games, Henry gave him the ball at his feet,most of the time. So Henry was already the puppet master, and he was the Puppet.

        • Tommy says:

          I saw every minute of every game and apparently we can just sign you to be Henry’s puppet. Anyone can kick the ball into the net. That’s why only KCJ and Wondo are the only ones to have done it 18+ times a season over the past 4 years

          • T-lover says:

            Wondo also gets great service. He has Gordan, and Steven Lenhart,to hold up the ball for him to make his runs. However both can’t create goals for them self’s. Cooper is a little better then Wondo at creating, however both lack that ability. If you watch every minute of every game, as you claim, you would see Henry set up most of his goals.

            • Travis is Miami says:

              T – if it’s so easy to score 18+ goals with the service provided by Henry why hasn’t there been other forwards with that kind of production since His arrival?

              • T-lover says:

                There has, Luke Rodgers. Who was scoring like Crazy. Even that year the NYRB wasn’t as good, as in 2012. He didn’t score 18 goals, but he’s a perfect example of what playing with Henry, can do for your career.

  22. Meromasta says:

    I’m thinking it was a tough choice to trade him, but the right move for the club. KC, who I like as a player and am sad to see go, is overpaid at $370k a season.

    As someone had pointed out earlier, the success of the trade will depend on who RBNY get with the extra allocation money.

  23. ed - houston says:

    Damn, i was not looking forward to seeing a strong FCD in our only metting this year, in Dallas. Oh well, it will be a good game.

  24. Michael F. SBI Mafia Original says:

    Bad move. Where are they going to get the 18 goals from now? Sitters or not they’re not as easy as they may look. We’ll see…

  25. Matt says:

    It’s hard for the fans to see Cooper leave. The thing that stuck out the most to me was how much of a nice guy he is. A lot of people berate his 18 goals because they were PK’s or served on a platter by Henry but they’re not considering that at least half of those PK’s came from him getting fouled in the box on a shot he probably would have made without getting fouled, and that Henry also served up a lot of other players that didn’t always score with the same golden-plattered assists from #14.

  26. tony says:

    the red bulls are a disaster!!!! there is no level of professionalism in this team. What is the point of bringing him into camp and then shippin him off. While it is common to trade the nonsense that this player has had to put up with speaks volumes into why this team always has the talent but no heart!!!
    oh and by the way all the KC haters should read the article on NBC sports the title alone is appropiate “Kenny scores then again when doesn’t kenny score”. People we all like espindola but how long will he last before he is criticized by henry. Oh, this is no kenny cooper. espindola misses open wide shots! hum maybe that’s why he is gone from Real Salt Lake. Having him and cooper would have led to healthy competition.

  27. Carlo says:

    And this, Kenny and Kenny Sr., is why you don’t trash talk the club as you walk away. Someday you may have to come back. Luckily it’s Dallas and I would imagine the majority of those fans are so apathetic they don’t remember or care. But if you were coming back to my club after you and dad talked all that crap I would sure hope we would make every moment absolute misery for you.

    • Andy says:

      This FCD fan doesn’t care. The Coopers are part of the Dallas family. Family members are allowed to pop off now and then and be forgiven.