Cooper offers job if Blast ousted again by Sockers


Kenny Cooper offered yesterday to resign as head coach if the Baltimore Blast should lose to the San Diego Sockers in the Major Soccer League championships for the third straight year and fourth time overall.

Cooper, the only coach in the 11-year history of the Baltimore franchise, said: "If San Diego and Baltimore play for the championship and San Diego goes on to win, I'd be willing to step aside. If you've not beaten them in a number of tries [0-for-4 in MSL finals against Ron Newman teams], you owe it to the fans to go after a Ron Newman if he is available, and I think he'll be available at the end of the season."

Cooper, upset by the Blast's 19-20 record, said no Blast player "or coach" would be untouchable when the season ends.

"All hell will break loose if we don't win the championship this year," Cooper said. "I've been unofficially fired 16 times and asked to quit once since I've been coaching here. I've been through it all. You live on the brink. I've always set high standards for the franchise, and now I've become a victim of those standards."

Cooper wouldn't say which Blast owner asked him to quit. Bernie Rodin and Nathan Scherr owned the team before Ed Hale.

Hale said yesterday that he hadn't discussed Cooper's future with the coach.

"He has a five-year contract [three years remaining], and his job isn't in jeopardy," said Hale. "I'm not going to get rid of Kenny. I haven't even thought of it. I like Kenny."

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