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NYRB coach Petke confirms Cooper exit due to salary cap issues

New York Red Bull head coach Mike Petke has confirmed that the club was forced to trade leading scorer Kenny Cooper last week.

The 28-year old, who was runner-up to Chris Wondolowski in the Golden Boot with 18 goals last season, is now with FC Dallas following the trade and Petke insisted that it was simply a matter of having a near-full salary cap which is expected to be $2.97million in 2013.

"As far as I understand it, that's close to being exactly right. Our budget, we were over by a lot, OK?" Petke said.

"This is not a situation where getting rid of Kenny and replace him with another player we found. This is a move made to bring three or four players in. If it was to bring someone else in, we would've kept Kenny.

"We were told a month ago we needed to get rid of him now, and we said no. We explored every option."

He added: "To be honest, when the situation first came up a while ago, it was unheard-of. It was like, you're kidding me, no chance.

"What he brings to the locker room, that was situation that was a long time in discussion between Andy (Roxburgh) and I. First it was not a chance. Then it was the financial people telling us what we were looking at; and the third stage was well, is there a way to avoid it?

"If we kept Kenny - we know what he brings us, and it's phenomenal - but we wouldn't have been able to add anyone. (We couldn't sign) all the supplemental picks and trialists we have in camp. And a step further, certainly a third DP would be out of the question."

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Andrew Slevison
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Andrew Slevison

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