Dallas Soccer DFW

Cooper and Alvarez becoming dangerous duo

Published 4/17/2008 10:59:49 AM by staff from soccermogul

Kenny Cooper and Arturo Alvarez have only played  two games together at forward, but the FC Dallas tandem has accounted for five goals and one assist during that time.   Alvarez earned the Sierra Mist Goal of the Week honors for his most recent tally, which came in the opening minute of a 2-0 win over New York on Saturday.   Cooper had the second goal in the match for the Hoops.   The week before in a 3-3 draw in Houston, Cooper delivered the first brace of his MLS career while Alvarez had a goal and an assist.  Kenny is currently tied with the LA Galaxy's Landon Donovan for the league lead in goals with three thus far.

"I think both guys have done well so far with five goals in the last two games," Dallas head coach Steve Morrow said. "They're looking dangerous and have also have had chances for more. It's very positive so far. We're doing a lot of work on the practice field with them as well. All credit to them, it's up to them to keep it going. They've got a big responsibility to score goals and so far, they've looked very good."

For Morrow, who made signing Alvarez to a new contract in the offseason a priority, that explosiveness is what he has always envisioned in the Houston native.  "We definitely saw things in Arturo  where we wanted to try him in that spot," Morrow said. "We spoke to him, he's excited about it and is enjoying that role. When someone has got the qualities and talent that he's got, you want to get them as close to the goal as possible. He enjoys playing higher up the field and having that freedom of not just sticking him in wide areas but being able to make runs in behind as well. I think he's looking very sharp and dangerous."

In his previous six years in MLS, Alvarez had scored just twice in the month of April. He has already matched his career total with a pair of tallies this month and for Morrow, that's a good sign.  "I think he's only starting to show his real potential," Morrow said. "I've always said that Arturo has got enormous potential. He just needs to keep it going. He's had a great start and we've got every confidence that he's going to continue to get better and better."

Morrow feels the seeds for the strong start were sown last season when Alvarez netted eight goals in all competitions for the Hoops.  "The difference began last year when he got a good run with the team, showed more consistency and really grew and matured as a player," Morrow said. "He really feels that confidence this year. He's got his new contract and is happy with that side of things. He's very content where he is right now and is showing a lot of confidence. I really hope he can go on and show bigger and better things."

The FC Dallas boss also feels that Alvarez came into the season with something to prove after he was sent off for violent conduct in the second leg of last fall's Western Conference Semifinals against Houston and felt like he had let his team down.

"I think there is a certain amount of that," Morrow said. "He went to Houston and it didn't frighten him in any way. The only thing that has been on his mind has been to go out and make it up to everybody again. It's never been an issue with anybody on this team but Arturo is using it in the right way and as positive motivation."

However, Morrow is also encouraged by Cooper's strong start, especially considering he is coming off a 2007 season where much of it was lost because of a broken leg suffered last June.  "I think he is just beginning to get back to his best," Morrow said. "I think there is a lot more to come from Kenny Cooper when he matures further as a player. The goals that he has scored, he has shown great composure in front of goal. If we can get him in those spots even more, the more opportunities he gets, the more goals he will score. As he gets smarter and matures as a player, he will get himself into those dangerous positions even more."

Morrow is also quick to credit the great service both players have received in the early going this season.  "Both of those guys know that they don't do it without their teammates. They've certainly been getting some great deliveries from Rocha and McCarty.  Serioux put a great ball in for Kenny as well" Morrow said. "It's up to those guys to make runs and we've got enough guys to find them with good passes."

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