Cooper targeting strong finish to 2013 after breaking drought against RSL
Kenny Cooper is no stranger to scoring beautiful goals.
The Dallas-native has consistently put them in the back of the net with his left foot, right foot and head to the tune of 70 goals in 185 career MLS appearances. However, 2013 has been a frustrating one as the towering forward muscles through a slump that seems to happen to even the best of forwards at one time or another.
Cooper broke a long scoreless drought on Saturday night and while his toe-poked effort from close range won't make any highlight reels, sometimes all it takes is one to start an avalanche of goals, something FCD could certainly use late in the season.
Watson and Cooper combine for goal
"Je-Vaughn [Watson] did an amazing job coming on and making such a quick impression on the game," said Cooper about the goal. "I think he might have run about 80 yards to get down to the line and did really well to get a cross in and the ball ended up popping out right to me and fortunately I was in a good spot."
With Panamanian forward Blas Perez away on international duty this weekend, Cooper, who hasn't been a stranger to the scoresheet in recent reserve league games, could be called on for a first start since July 20 at Montreal. Cooper certainly has history on his side to suggest a breakout performance could come against the Fire as the forward found the back of the net six times against Chicago in his previous stint with FCD including his first-ever goal for the club, a game-winner in the first game of the 2006 season.
"I’m really hungry to be out there, the games are really important and I'm sure everyone feels the same way and wants to be out there on the field," said Cooper. "I have some great memories against Chicago and one of my favorite ones looking back was my first goal in the league. I don’t think I’ll ever forget that one with my family in the stands and my wife, who was my girlfriend at time."
Many say the Brimstone Cup rivalry between FCD and Chicago has tapered off in recent years with the move to a one-game schedule against Eastern Conference teams, but Cooper has been around the block with FCD and remembers a time when the rivalry was among the best in the league.
"I definitely feel that rivalry and I remember my first time around with Dallas how important those games were having our fans travel up to Chicago for games," said Cooper. "I think it’s a game that is important to fans. "Rivalries are always important to fans, whether it’s Chicago or Houston, these games are always great and when you know it’s important to fans you want to make sure they go home happy at the end of the day."