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Kenny Cooper returning to FC Dallas

kenny-cooperBusy day in Dallas, as the FC Dallas have announced that they are bringing back former All-Star forward Kenny Cooper in a trade with the New York Red Bulls. Dallas also acquired forward Eric Hassli from Toronto FC for a conditional second-round pick in 2014.

Cooper enjoyed the most successful spell of his career in Dallas between 2006 and ’09, where he scored 40 goals in 90 appearances, earned a 2008 MLS Best XI nod and broke into the US national team.

“We’re really excited to have Kenny Cooper back in Dallas,” FC Dallas head coach Schellas Hyndman said in a statement. “When I first became the coach at FC Dallas, Kenny was our striker. … He is a proven goalscorer, a Dallas boy returning home to his roots. Kenny is a leader with exceptional character.”

Despite scoring 18 goals for Red Bulls last season, Cooper came under criticism from Thierry Henry and Hans Backe for his style of play. As a result he has been on the trading block for a while and this is a good pickup for Dallas.

The move comes on the heels of Dallas’ acquisition earlier Monday of French Designated Player striker Eric Hassli from Toronto FC, giving Dallas two big forwards to partner Panamanian goal-getter Blas Pérez up top.

Toronto FC general manager Kevin Payne said the Hassli deal creates salary cap room and opens a designated player spot for the Canadian club.

Hassli was acquired from the Vancouver Whitecaps last July. The 31-year-old Frenchman made eight appearances with Toronto FC, scoring three goals and adding two assists in all competitions.