Having been with the Red Bulls for just over two months, Kenny Cooper has wasted no time finding his scoring touch. Over the Red Bulls’ first three matches, Cooper has clocked 162 minutes and tallied three goals. In Sunday’s home opener against Colorado, the six-foot-three forward proved to be a handful for the Rapids backline from start to finish.
Thierry Henry kicked off the scoring when he gave New York the lead after just two minutes of play. Cooper then fed off Henry’s electrifying start, and added another goal four minutes after. Reminiscent of the opening match of the season in Dallas, Cooper effectively created space for Henry to play him an accurately weighted pass.
“I think you can see in his pass to me, he put it right in my path,” Cooper said. “He couldn’t have played me a better pass for our second goal.”
After spending time in Dallas and Portland, Cooper undoubtedly developed a familiarity with the passionate support in Red Bull Arena. He expressed his delight in having the Red Bull supporters on his side following Sunday’s match.
“I felt the fans showed great passion, enthusiasm,” Cooper said. “From my first day, the team, everyone has made me feel very welcome, which I’ve been really appreciative for.”
The Red Bulls were happy to return home after two road games to start the season, and Cooper was pleased to give New York’s supporters a convincing result.
“It was nice to go two-nil up,” Cooper said. “After starting out with two games on the road, it was nice to come home in front of our fans, and nice to give them a good result as well.”
Cooper has shown quality movement off the ball and proven to be a physical presence to ward off defenders. On Sunday, he believed the whole team’s performance came down to desire.
“Guys came out with a lot of energy,” Cooper said. “We trained very well this week, showed great hunger through the week. It was nice to see it all come together on the weekend with a great result.”
Cooper’s sixth-minute goal was the 50th of his MLS career. He later tallied his 51st after getting his foot on a cross into the box from defender Roy Miller in the 89th minute.
If evidence accrued over the first three matches says one thing about Cooper, it's that he won’t be slowing down anytime soon.