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Africa, MLS, Cooper, Mupier, USA

*On a first-half goal by Asamoah Gyan, Ghana advanced to the African Cup final with a 1-0 victory over Nigeria. Algeria and Egypt will face one another in the other semifinal this afternoon.

*The latest on the MLS labor negotiations, and it isn't much: "The MLS Players Union had representatives in our office on Tuesday and Wednesday for CBA meetings with Commissioner Garber, Mark Abbott, Todd Durbin, our law firm and others. Discussions are ongoing," league spokesman Dan Courtemanche said. The current agreement expires Sunday.

*USA forward Kenny Cooper might be on his way to Plymouth Argyle on loan from 1860 Munich, where he has been rehabbing a knee injury. Argyle is managed by former New England Revolution assistant Paul Mariner.

All is not well, however, in Bavaria, where, I'm told by various sources, the relationship between Team Cooper and club management is strained. Munich would prefer he remain with the club and work toward regaining playing time, but reports in Germany say Cooper's father has pushed hard for a tighter timetable that would allow the former FC Dallas star to re-enter the lineup and be in better position to make the U.S. World Cup squad.

*Former D.C. United forward Mira Mupier's move from Danish second-division Blokhus to Aguila in El Salvador is in the works but not finalized, his agent, Rob Feigenson, told the Insider. Despite Salvadoran reports that he has joined the club, Mupier is in transit and awaiting final approval before a Friday deadline.

*With a semifinal victory today against Costa Rica (2:30 p.m., Fox Soccer Channel) at the CONCACAF tournament in Guatemala, the USA will secure a berth in the Under-20 women's World Cup in Germany this summer.

By Steve Goff  |  January 28, 2010; 12:50 PM ET
Categories:  Americans Abroad , CONCACAF , Germany , MLS , Women  
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She's a Blok...hus...

Posted by: Reignking | January 28, 2010 1:13 PM | Report abuse

maybe Cooper's father is getting ready to go Gilooly on Brian Ching's knee. because otherwise, i don't see Cooper making the WC squad, even if Davies miracle comeback doesn't happen. Altidore, Ching, Davies, Dempsey (if used up top) and Casey are all ahead of him and you could make a case for a few other guys as well.

Posted by: dimesmakedollars | January 28, 2010 1:13 PM | Report abuse

"reports in Germany say Cooper's father has pushed hard for immediate playing time to get him in position to make the World Cup squad."

You have got to be kidding me. And I used to respect Kenny....not any more. How old is he again?

Posted by: Atlanta4MLS | January 28, 2010 1:14 PM | Report abuse


I think you can still have respect for the guy. His father is his agent. Agents get in the ears of managers and owners all the time for their clients. Kenny just happens to keep most of his money and lets Kenny Sr do the agent-y thing.

I mean, it would be much worse if it were "reports in Germany say Drew Rosenhaus has pushed hard for immediate playing time to get him in position to make the World Cup squad - and then offered to have Terrell Owens do shirtless pushups, counting in German"

Posted by: VirginiaBlueBlood | January 28, 2010 1:21 PM | Report abuse

Why do athletes think blood relations automatically equals qualifications? Does the dad manage anyone else? Did he manage anyone else prior to the kid? Why would you hire someone to do a complicated job if they have no experience/qualifications? Now, I don't know nuthin' about this guy's dad, maybe he was an agent...?

Posted by: TwoIsle | January 28, 2010 1:34 PM | Report abuse

"Now, I don't know nuthin' about this guy's dad"

Played in NASL as a goalkeeper, was coach of the Baltimore Blast for about 15 years.

Posted by: spidergoose | January 28, 2010 1:43 PM | Report abuse

Not to speak out of turn, but the article linked above about the Cooper story lists someone else as Coopers agent.

Posted by: CrippledKeeper | January 28, 2010 1:50 PM | Report abuse

I think Kenny's dad pushes a little to hard and pushes him into the wrong direction. Yeah leaving dallas was a good idea money wise, but staying in dallas, playing and going to the world cup might have allowed him to get a bigger pay day. I think Kenny had a better chance to make the world cup squad when he was in Dallas then he does now (even if his injury never happened)

Posted by: Norteno4life | January 28, 2010 1:52 PM | Report abuse

@ spidergoose: thanks for the info... I guess I still don't know see why you'd hire him to be your agent. Do you know if his son is his only client?

Posted by: TwoIsle | January 28, 2010 2:31 PM | Report abuse

I don't know if Kenny Sr. has any other clients, but I can see a number of reasons to want your dad as your representation, given that he's been around the business and has a lot of experience with contract negotiations. Namely, Kenny Jr. knows that his agent absolutely has his best interests at heart and isn't out to use Kenny as a means to advance his own career. He knows he's not going to get screwed over, and he's likely paying a much smaller fraction of his contract as the agent's fee than he otherwise would.

I'd imagine Kenny Sr. also has amassed some pretty decent connections in soccer over his long career.

Posted by: spidergoose | January 28, 2010 2:48 PM | Report abuse

His father is his agent.

Posted by: VirginiaBlueBlood | January 28, 2010 1:21 PM | Report abuse

Oh ok...well, I feel a bit better but still, its not the agent's job to get a player playing time. It's the player's job. Hopefully America's taste for entitlements isn't seeping into our national team program.

Posted by: Atlanta4MLS | January 28, 2010 2:49 PM | Report abuse

I heard a podcast with Twellman today where he said the union was meeting with player reps tonight (Thursday) to presumably update them on things. He was pretty confident a deal would get done with no disruption.

Posted by: beach3 | January 28, 2010 2:56 PM | Report abuse

Well, I guess whatever. Personally I would assume that agenting (verb: to agent) requires some rather specialized skills that aren't picked up through osmosis, but who the heck knows. Cooper has always been an enigmatic player in my eyes. I thought/hoped at one point he was our RVN... But he just never seems to get over some hump or another that would make him a "star" for the nats. I guess it's the speed thing mainly? He'll be a helluva +40 player someday though huh?

Posted by: TwoIsle | January 28, 2010 2:59 PM | Report abuse

I agree w/Atlanta4MLS. The agent's job isn't to get playing time for his client. In Cooper's case, from the club's standpoint, it really is too bad that Cooper, Sr. is his son's agent. If he wasn't a blood relation, the club could "suggest" the player find new representation. This just puts the club in a tough situation.

I bet there's LOTS of screwy meddling parents in Europe and elsewhere, though. The US probably doesn't have a monopoly on that particular brand of idiocy. Just think what it must be like in places where the parents actually know the game (unlike the U.S., which is still the land of "hey, that's a high kick, ref!")

Posted by: loosek | January 28, 2010 3:19 PM | Report abuse

58 days until United's first 2010 league match!

Posted by: Curious99 | January 28, 2010 4:00 PM | Report abuse

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