Kenny Cooper gets chance to help Montreal Impact make history

The long-time MLS striker and former Manchester United trainee has joined the Canadian club ahead of their CONCACAF Champions League final series against Mexican giants Club America.

The Montreal Impact have given their attacking corps a much-needed and well-timed boost, snatching veteran striker Kenny Cooper off MLS waivers on Sunday afternoon ahead off their historic CONCACAF Champions League final series.

Cooper, 30, had spent the past season with the Seattle Sounders before being released earlier this month, having scored three goals in 22 regular-season games for the Supporters’ Shield holders.

The former Manchester United trainee also helped the Sounders win their fourth US Open Cup title in 2014, scoring six times in just four matches to earn himself the tournament’s MVP award.

A veteran of eight MLS campaigns, the experienced front man is ranked 18th on the league’s all-time scoring list with 75 career regular-seasons goals in 210 appearances and joins the Impact at a crucial time.

Frank Klopas’ side became the first Canadian and just the second MLS team to make the Champions League final last week and now take on Mexican giants Club America in their two-legged series, which begins on April 22 and concludes in Montreal on April 29.

The underdogs will be without star winger Justin Mapp and rookie striker Cameron Porter, however, having lost both to long-term injuries since the start of the season, leading them to look to Copper in their bid to cause an upset.

"I'm very excited to have the opportunity to join the Montreal Impact," Cooper told the Impact’s official website. "With the recent achievement of reaching the Champions League final, it's obviously a great time for the club.

“I am eager and determined to contribute to more success this year. It will be a privilege to represent a club, so rich in history and fan support."

The Impact will be the fifth club of Cooper’s MLS career after stints with hometown side FC Dallas, the Portland Timbers, New York Red Bulls and Seattle.

Prior to coming to MLS, the Texas-native, whose father is a former Blackburn Rovers goalkeeper, was on the books of Manchester United between 2003 and 2006 but never made a senior appearance for the club before returning to the States to sign for Dallas.

Having completed two 18-goal seasons in 2008 with FCD and 2012 with the Red Bulls, his past scoring exploits have earned him 10 US international caps since 2007, as well as an ill-fated move in 2009 to German second division club 1860 Munich, where he netted just three times in 15 games during his 18-month stint before heading back across the Atlantic.

His career might have slowed down in recent campaigns but he has a clear chance to reclaim the headlines if he can help Montreal become the first MLS side to both lift the CCL and make the Club World Cup in the process.

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