Rare air: Kenny Cooper credits Michel for FC Dallas' set-piece success
FRISCO, Texas – FC Dallas are atop the lead standings, and it's not a secret what one of the biggest factors is: set pieces. Thanks in part to newcomer Michel, they lead MLS with 10 set-piece goals.
And being in rare air deserves rare company, and that's where FCD striker Kenny Cooper puts his Brazilian teammate.
“Brad Davis or when [David] Beckham was [in MLS],” Cooper told MLSsoccer.com on Thursday as to among whom Michel rates. "It’s a really, really dangerous weapon to have that great service and Michel’s shown on dead balls and also in the run of play he has the capability of putting it on a dime and we’ve benefitted from it scoring a bunch of goals already off of set plays."
Cooper is tied for the team lead with three goals on the season and two of those have been delivered to him from Michel’s deadly accurate left foot (the other was a PK). Plus, a possible third goal was incorrectly waved off for offside against New England.
The Dallas native was quick to say that Michel is one of the best servers of the ball he’s ever played with, which would also include Thierry Henry from his time with New York Red Bulls.
“Whenever he’s lining up to put a ball in, you can be confident he’s going to put it in a good spot for you and it’s great to feel that confidence in a teammate,” Cooper said of the budding connection between himself and the Brazilian. “He’s a very dangerous player and we’re fortunate to have him.”
Historically, Saturday’s opponents, the San Jose Earthquakes (8:30 pm ET, watch on MLS Live), control the air with big, physical players like Alan Gordon, Chris Wondolowski and Steven Lenhart. But this season, FC Dallas are putting on the dominant air show with five headed goals. The Quakes, meanwhile, have a surprising zero.
“We have so much size on our team," Cooper said. "George John, Matt Hedges, myself, Eric Hassli, Blas Pérez. All guys who are over 6-foot-2 or 6-3. When you combine that with great service, it’s a dangerous combination.”