After more than a week of rumors, the Portland Timbers confirmed on Monday the signing of US international Kenny Cooper.
Cooper, 26, arrives in the Pacific Northwest after spending the last two years on the books at 2.Bundesliga side 1860 Munich. Before that, he was with FC Dallas for four seasons, scoring 40 goals in 90 regular-season appearances.
“Kenny has valuable MLS experience and he knows what it takes to score goals and win in this league,” Timbers head coach John Spencer said in a statement released by the club. “It’s a great, great signing for the club.”
GALLERY: Cooper with FCD and USA
Cooper, who started his pro career in the Manchester United reserve squad, joined FC Dallas in 2006. He hit for 11 goals that first season, then, after an injury-plagued 2007 season, he had a massive year in 2008, when he struck 18 goals and finished second in the race for the Golden Boot. He was named the MLS Comeback Player of the Year and was earned an MLS Best XI nod.
In 2009, Cooper transferred to 1860 and scored on his debut. However, injuries limited him to only 15 total appearances for the German club, in which he scored only three goals. He spent some time on loan at English Championship team Plymouth Argyle, then coached by current Toronto FC director of player development Paul Mariner.
Cooper's success with Dallas led to his first call up to the US national team. He made his international debut in January 2007, scoring a goal in a 3-1 friendly win over Denmark. He also scored in a World Cup qualifier win against Guatemala in 2008 and had two goals in the 2009 Gold Cup. In total, Cooper has 10 caps for the US, but only one since moving to Europe in late 2009.
“I am really excited to be returning to MLS and joining the Portland Timbers for their inaugural MLS season,” Cooper in a statement. “It is a great privilege to come to Portland, where there is a long-standing tradition and a deep passion for the team and the game. I hope to make the Timbers Army and all those associated with the club proud.”