Kenny Cooper's career was left for dead just a year ago. A failed stint in Europe followed by an unimpressive year led led most to give up on the formerly prolific striker. But those who thought Cooper was done look pretty foolish now. The striker scored goals No. 12 and 13 on the season on Saturday, leading the New York Red Bulls to a 2-0 win over the Philadelphia Union as the home side looked very much the part of a MLS Cup contender.
The first goal came thanks to a cross from Connor Lade, who hit an absolutely gorgeous ball from the left. Cooper then got across his marker, rose high and nodded the ball into the corner to give the Red Bulls a lead just before halftime.
Connor then put the match away in the second half, this time form a Thierry Henry cross. Once again, the ball came from the left, but Cooper didn't have much of a mark to beat this time. He was able to slip in behind the napping Union defense and head home from right in front without a defender around to put a bow on the New York win.
The Union did score a goal late, only to have it ruled off for a controversial offside call, but they didn't deserve the goal anyway. New York was the far better side, getting great play from Lade and Joel Lindpere in the midfield, as well as Cooper and Henry up front. Sebastien Le Toux was a menace cutting in and made the Red Bulls look nearly unstoppable in spurts en route to a deserved three points that has them atop the Eastern Conference now.