A REASON FOR COOPER DEAL Rodgers hasn't had his visa renewed yet
Luke Rodgers is awaiting for his visa to be renewed.
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
By Michael Lewis
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- One reason for the Red Bulls trading for Kenny Cooper?
Luke Rodgers hasn't had his visa renewed yet and that is a concern for the Red Bulls.
Rodgers has a record in his native England, which delayed him getting his work permit valdidated for the United STates.
"We have to be open with the fact that Luke rodgers had a one-year visa," Red Bulls general manager and sporting director Erik Soler said at the MLS SuperDraft on Thursday. "That visa is not renewed at this moment. We think it will be, but it's not for sure. With that risk, we simply had to make that move, make sure we come into the summer and Juan [Agudelo] goes to the Olympics and we don't have any attackers."
Agudelo, 19, is training with the U.S. National Team. He is expected to be a part of the U.S. Under-23 team that will try to qualify for the 2012 Olympics. If the U.S. does, Agudelo would be lost for at least three weeks if not more as he prepares for and plays at the London Games.
Soler was optimistic that Rodgers will get his visa renewed. Rodgers, who turned 30 on Jan. 1, finished with nine goals and three assists in 1,560 minutes over 20 starts and 23 games for the Red Bulls last season. He added one playoff goal.
"We think it's a good chance," Soler said. "He had a record before he came. He has been absolutely fantastic when he has been here. There is no reason we think not to have that visa. It's still not on our table and we don't want any risks."
So, the Red Bulls, Soler and Rodgers will play the waiting game.
"I think we'll know in a couple of three weeks, something like that," Soler said. "Having said that, we think Kenny Cooper can be a very, very strong acquisition, someone that we really need."