Over the next few weeks, we are going to hear a lot of names for FC Dallas to consider for its newly vacant head coaching position.
Last time, while the team maneuvered or negotiated to bring Oscar Pareja home, recall that the front office interviewed some assistants, including a college coach or two. I like that they cast a wide net and looked at possibilities, some out of the box names. Other programs, say the USMNT, could learn something from that.
Will they cast as wide a net this time?
If they do, there is one name that could tickle the fancy of FC Dallas fans - Kenneth Scott Cooper Jr.
Kenny Cooper may have only had two stays with FC Dallas, his initial coming with the club from 2006 to 2009 and the latter in 2013, but many consider him a beloved legend and figure that helped draw them into FC Dallas fandom. He was definitely a useful player over his career, scoring 40 goals during his first stint with FC Dallas and 18 goals in 2012 with the New York Red Bulls. His play was good enough to get him minutes with the national team too. He played as a frontline starter, a late game sub, and even on the wing. After that stand out year in 2012, he never really did much else though except bolster teams as offensive depth. Still, Kenny never seemed to have a reputation for anything other than a professional, a hard worker, and a good locker room guy.
Best of all, he has deep roots in Dallas, and while I am sure the youth setup has changed, Kenny knows firsthand the potential talent lurking all over the metroplex.
And he scored this monster goal.
After retiring from Major League Soccer, Kenny founded the Charleston Football Association. The association looks to provide pick up play for more advanced type players, even aspiring pros who want to improve their game and maybe land a contract somewhere. Rather than a typical youth coach setup, I’m intrigued that Kenny’s vision is rooted in cultivating a sense of community and skill development with a focus on guys who may be on the cusp of pro level soccer.
He’s a Long Shot
Kenny isn’t going to be the first name that comes to mind as a potential head coach option, but maybe he fits as a former club player archetype with a ton of experience who knows how to bring a locker room together. He’d be green, for sure, but maybe young youth players for FC Dallas need this kind of presence, a guy who knows the challenges of competing on the international stage and in Europe. Maybe Kenny would give a couple of years for Luchi or some other assistant to get some seasoning with the USL side.
I’d love to see FC Dallas interview or at least talk to guys like Kenny to get their take on the growth of MLS and what the club needs to do to make sure young players take advantage of their opportunities.
Could Kenny be that out of the box guy who can bridge the past and present and lead this club to glory? What do you think? Are there other former club players who might deserve a look?