Sounders Insider

Sounders GM talks about Cooper move

"I don’t know where Kenny’s going yet, so I can’t really tell you about the specifics. Basically we got a CBA back and it is what it is and we had to make some decisions off it, and guys who were on big numbers became less attractive than they might have been before, so we made the decision to move on without Kenny. We’re waiting for him to get a landing spot, and we certainly hope that he lands on his feet. He’ll be a great player wherever he goes. I honestly wish we could have kept him, but it was one longterm where we didn’t see a way forward on the numbers, based on where he was and were our budgets were."

On if a higher salary cap number was expected in new CBA: I wasn’t here when they did all the off-season planning, but I actually think they were very astute here and they were very conservative. So I can’t say that they didn’t plan for it: We still have a ton of allocation, we have roster spots, we have things we can do to strengthen the team, so I think that they planned very well. But that number coming in where it came it, it causes you to value players differently. If you have a $10 million cap and a player makes a quarter-million, that’s different than if you have a $3 million cap and a player makes a quarter-million. Every player has a value relative to the world market, and you look at who can I sign from abroad relative to what I can get from this player on this contract in the league. That’s the decision we made, and that’s why we moved on from Kenny.

On what was happening behind the scenes while Cooper was away from training: We talked through some scenarios with Kenny. Kenny’s a great guy. And Kenny worked with us and I think Kenny was interested in trying to find a way to make it work here, and ultimately we weren’t able to do that. So yeah, some of the time was us trying to work something out with Kenny. But we couldn’t. Again, I hope that we have clarity on the situation over the next few days. Just to be clear to everybody: We bought Kenny out of his contract, it makes him clear to go to another team in the league. That’s the process that’s happening right now. So whenever another team claims him, he goes to that team…. He gets waived, and then there’s essentially a reverse auction, I guess you could call it, and a team has to claim him at x-number, and if they’re willing to do that then they get him.

On if there was an attempt to trade him: There has not been a market for Kenny. Would I love to trade a player rather than waive him and get nothing for him? Yes. I’d prefer to trade him. But there was not a market that we were able to explore. A lot of teams … were anticipating potentially a higher cap, so guys with a higher number it’s a little more challenging to move them in the short-term.

On the forward position: I like Vic Manasaray a lot. I think he’s done a great job as a young player. We have Lamar Neagle, who can play up there. I know Chad (Barrett) had a frustrating night the other night, but at the same time, he’s a guy who has averaged seven goals a year for the last couple of years. My job as the GM is not to specifically focus on one game, but to look at the long-term stuff. I think we have options up top.

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