Portland Timbers recruit Kenny Cooper said he was always going to following his father’s footsteps and be a professional soccer player.
The 26-year old, who will return to MLS with the expansion franchise when the 2011 season kicks off next month, admits that his father, Kenny Snr, had a great influence on him during his youth.
Cooper Snr played with Blackburn Rovers in England before spending close to a decade with Dallas Tornado in the old North American soccer League and then went on to be an indoor soccer coach and Kenny said this particular sport was always the path he would take.
"You might say I grew up in the locker room," Cooper told The Oregonian. "My father was an indoor coach when I was young and growing up. Soccer has always been a part of my family.
"I've known from a young age that I wanted to follow in the footsteps of my father. It's a great privilege to be able to do that. He has a lot of great experiences that he has been able to pass down to me, which I'm very appreciative of."
And Kenny Snr said that it was from a young age that the family knew his son would make it to the top.
“When he got to be 6 years of age, we kind of sensed that there was something here," Kenny Sr. said. "I believe that if you're passionate about something, you're going to do well. It was obvious the only thing Kenny wanted to do was play soccer."