To date in his brief soccer career, midfielder Aaron Kovar has really only ever known one team. On Tuesday, the 24-year-old’s loan from the Seattle Sounders to LAFC was made official.
Growing up in Seattle, Kovar came to the attention of the Seattle Sounders FC Academy playing for local youth side Emerald City FC. He played in the Sounders FC Academy from 2011-2012 and Seattle’s U-23 team in 2013 before heading to Stanford University. After two seasons with Stanford, the Sounders brought Kovar back to Seattle as a Homegrown Player.
“I was obviously in Seattle for the last four years and in the academy, so I’ve been around the club since I was 16,” Kovar said from LAFC training camp. “It’s all I’ve really known in this League.”
Kovar played four seasons with Seattle in MLS from 2014-2017. On his way to solidifying his place in the team during the 2016 season, the midfielder featured in 16 of the Sounders’ 19 matches to start the season before a clavicle injury picked up in a U.S. Open Cup match with Toronto derailed his momentum. He would appear just eight more times for the Sounders after his recovery.
The winger says he feels most comfortable near the touchline and going at defenders 1-on-1, a characteristic of his game that he shares with his favorite player.
“I’ve always been a big fan of [Arjen] Robben. Obviously, he’s pretty good. But he’s an inverted winger like I like to do,” Kovar said.
Seizing the chance for a fresh start, Kovar sees his ambitions in line with what LAFC are establishing in the heart of LA:
“I think they have the right mentality here. It’s not like [LAFC] want to come to the league just to join the league, but I think these guys want to compete the first year out. And so do all of us. I think it’s going to be different. They are bringing some really good players in with a lot of experience and a high pedigree. I think we are going to be really competitive.”