Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Kenny Cooper for MVP

With the great American soccer award season upon us (hello BASAs), there are bound to be some interesting ideas floated around.

Take for example, Scott French's suggestion that FC Dallas forward/midfielder Kenny Cooper should win the 2006 MLS MVP award. I don't know about you, but Cooper is not one that pops to mind when I think MVP. Did Cooper do as much for his club in 2006 as Dwayne De Rosario (Houston), Christian Gomez (DC), Jeff Cunningham (Salt Lake) or Ante Razov (Chivas)?

French says this about Cooper: The 21-year-old forward/midfielder, who played in Manchester United's system after graduating from high school, returned home and catapulted FC Dallas to the Western Conference title. Six of his 11 goals were game-winners, and the Hoops went 10-0-1 when he found the net, but his presence played even larger on a team loaded with big-game talent. Carlos Ruiz is the star, but Cooper is the missing piece.

I agree that Cooper has brought something very important to FCD, however I'm not sure if just being the final piece, even if it is a big piece, is enough to win the award.

French also talks about Gomez and De Rosario, but points out that DC has stunk of late and that De Rosario's club was better last year, so they should not get the award.

He, again, is correct with that analysis, but let's be fare, Dallas hasn't been the best of late either. Their record is great when Cooper scores, Dallas has gone 4-1-7 since the All-Star break (DC has gone 2-4-6) and Dallas is only 4 points better then they were last year. I'm not trying to take away from what FCD has done in a difficult Western Conference, but when you look apples to apples, it's a different thing.

That said, it is always fun to read articles like this because I'll spend the next 3 days debating it in my head. Okay, that's a little sad, but so be it.



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