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December 19, 2013 at 3:47 PM

A stop and chat with Kenny Cooper

Kenny CooperI’ve been helping out with Seahawks coverage again today, so while I was able to listen to Thursday’s conference call with new Sounders FC addition Kenny Cooper, I was not able to participate. Anyways, here is a full transcript:

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(How does it feel to be a Sounder?) “I’m incredibly excited. It’s a great opportunity to come to an amazing franchise with a massive and passionate fan base. I’m thrilled.”

(Did this come as a surprise to you or did you know you’d be moving on from Dallas?) “Well, I had an idea it was possible because of my contract situation, but I couldn’t be happier with where I’ve ended up. I’m very appreciative of everyone at the Sounders for the faith that they’ve shown in me.”

(Where were you when you heard the news?) “Well, I’ve been on the East Coast. My wife and I have been spending time with her family — Baltimore, New Jersey and South Carolina — we kind of go up and down the East Coast. Again, we’re very excited. We’ve been in the Pacific Northwest before and loved the area and loved being part of the passionate soccer culture that’s up there. It’s a great opportunity for us and, again, we’re both thrilled.”

(You’ve been in the league for a while. What is the outsider’s perspective of playing games here?) “I think it’s a game everyone gets excited to play in because you know whenever you come the seats are going to be not only filled but with fans who are going to be supporting the team in a great way. It’s always an amazing atmosphere. I think as kids, you have dreams of playing in that kind of atmosphere. We’re so fortunate now that in this league Seattle provides such a great place to play. Obviously for the players in the Seattle, it’s a great experience. I can imagine (what it’s like) to play 15-odd home games in front of them. From my experience, being a player on the away team, I think it’s a game that everybody looks forward to coming in and experiencing. It’s an experience there with the fans and the culture.”

(What can you say about having played on four teams in four years and trying to get some stability in Seattle?) “I don’t know how to answer that to be honest with you, but obviously I would love to be in Seattle for a long time. Again, I’m just thrilled with where I’ve ended up and incredibly grateful for the faith they’ve shown in me. I’m really looking forward to playing there. It’s a really great opportunity.”

(What there any change in your play or that of the teams you were on that explains going from 18 goals in 2012 with New York to six goals last season in Dallas?) “Shoot, that’s a hard one to answer. In New York, I played on a very, very good team. We made the playoffs that year and I was fortunate enough to play with a hero of mine in Thierry Henry, who is, in my opinion, one of the greatest players to ever play the game. I believe I really benefitted from playing alongside him and the other great players in that team. We had a good run in the season and made the playoffs, and unfortunately it ended before we all wanted it to. I have to give credit where credit is due. I’ve been fortunate in the last couple of years to play alongside some great players, and I know I’m coming into a team that also has a lot of talent obviously in the attack but also in the back as the team has picked up some fantastic players in Stefan Frei and Chad Marshall. I’m looking forward to the group of players this year.”

(What will it be like playing with Clint Dempsey and Obafemi Martins?) “They’re both players that I really admire. Clint has had an incredible career abroad and also with the national team and MLS. I had an opportunity to meet him once in a camp and I know he’s a great guy. I’m looking forward to seeing him again. Clint and Obafemi and Chad Marshall, there are so many players in the team who are so talented and have so much great experience. I’m really keeping my mind open, but I’m looking forward to spending time around these guys — playing with them, learning from them, and being their teammate.”

(What do you feel you can add to the team?) “I hope to be able to help contribute on both sides of the ball. As a forward, I understand the expectation is to score goals and help create them, so there’s obviously a desire to do that on my part, but also to put in an honest effort every day and in every game. I look to give the team my best every day.”

(Is there a particular role you like in the attack knowing you’ve played a few over the years?) “Yeah, I’ve had some experience playing in various roles. I’m comfortable playing different positions, and at the end of the day, I want the coach to feel comfortable putting me wherever he deems best. In saying that, I’m an attacking forward player, so I hope to come in and help contribute to scoring and help create goals for the team.”

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