May 21, 2012
SNUBBED, BUT NOT ANGRY
Cooper is hopeful he will get an opportunity with the National Team in the future
By Kristian R. Dyer
|Kenny Cooper: "I will do my best here and if I’m doing that, hopefully that will translate to good performances for my club and if I do that, hopefully that translates to national team opportunities.”
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
BigAppleSoccer.com Contributing Editor
UPPER MONTCLAIR, N.J. – If there is any disappointment on the part of Red Bulls forward Kenny Cooper in not getting a national team call-up, then he isn’t showing it. Instead, it is lemonade from lemons.
Cooper, who has scored a team-high 10 goals this season, was not a part of U.S. national coach Jurgen Klinsmann’s training camp ahead of five key matches over the next few weeks. Chris Wondolowski, who leads Major League Soccer with 11 goals, was called up to the camp, which is taking place this week in Orlando, Fla.
“The national team – I said before – I’ve had the honor to represent my country and it has been some of the highlights of my career, there have been some amazing moments and I’m hungry for more of those opportunities,” Cooper said after practice at Montclair State University on Monday.
“Hopefully there will be some more of those opportunities in the future. But I will do my best here and if I’m doing that, hopefully that will translate to good performances for my club and if I do that, hopefully that translates to national team opportunities.”
He has had 10 appearances with the National Team, scoring four times. His last goal came during the 2009 CONCACAF Gold Cup, a July 23 score in a 2-0 win over Honduras. Since then, Cooper has largely been out of the National Team picture and doesn’t seem to be an immediate part of Klinsmann’s plans right now.
The lack of a call is good news for his club team as the Red Bulls are dangerously thin at forward and Cooper has helped the club immensely during its five-game winning streak, despite a rash of injuries that has hit New York hard.
“He’s hot scoring, 10 goals, two penalties. Involved in a lot of chances but I never comment what other teams do or national teams do” coach Hans Backe said.
“It’s good that he’s here.”
Three weeks ago, Cooper said that he has yet to be contacted by Klinsmann and his current form in MLS hasn’t changed that fact.
“I’ve not spoken with Jurgen,” he said on Monday.
Juan Agudelo, who has yet to score this season in MLS play and was traded from the Red Bulls to Chivas USA last Thursday, was called up by Klinsmann for the camp. This despite the fact that Agudelo has played 90 minutes just once this season and is coming off recent knee surgery.