Indications are that forwards Clint Dempsey and Obafemi Martins will return to the Seattle Sounders’ lineup Saturday against Houston.
However, Kenny Cooper is gone for good.
After missing four weeks of training with what was described as an “excused absence,” the club announced Thursday that Cooper has been placed on waivers. If he is not signed by another team, the Sounders will buy out his existing contract, but that would not count against the MLS salary cap.
“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,” general manager Garth Lagerwey said. “That’s the decision we made, and that’s why we moved on from Kenny.”
Cooper, 30, came to Seattle in a December 2013 trade that sent Adam Moffet and allocation money to FC Dallas. In his lone season as a Sounder, Cooper had three goals and four assists in 22 appearances, including 12 starts.
Over eight MLS seasons, Cooper has 75 goals and 20 assists. However, a month into the season in a salary-capped league, Lagerwey said the club couldn’t find a market to trade Cooper, who last season had a salary of $200,000 and total compensation of $266,625.