Call it sweet revenge, call it a fresh, new start, call it whatever you like. But, don't forget to call it a stoic performance, because that's exactly what first year Sporting Kansas City defender Seth Sinovic gave Wednesday night against his former team, New England Revolution, in helping Sporting qualify for the 2011 US Open Cup with a 5-0 thrashing.. Making his club debut after signing with Sporting KC on May 10, Sinovic auditioned for the backup leftback position and couldn't have asked for a much better opening act.
"For many reasons it was a game that I wanted to show well in for Kansas City," Sinovic said by phone on Thursday.
Sinovic is a local guy, a Rockhurst High School graduate, and playing against his old team was all the motivation he needed to put in a stellar performance on Wednesday night. "It was definitely a motivating factor," according to Sinovic. "You always want to put on a good performance for a team that let you go ... It is what it is (the release); I respect the choices they had to make, but obviously I don't really agree with it. They did what they felt was best."
Sinovic understands that he has come into the side at a pivotal time, with starting leftback Roger Espinoza set to depart for Honduras National Team duty within the next week. Given that situation, the starting leftback job, at least for a month, is well up in the air. Could it be Sinovic's advantage in Major League Soccer experience over the competition - Korede Aiyegbusi and Scott Lorenz - having played in 20 games for New England in 2010, that could put him over the top?
"Obviously losing Roger is a huge deal for us. He's a World Cup-caliber player with Honduras," Sinovic said of the starting leftback. "It (the experience) is something that I can really call on. I played quite a few games last year and kind of know what to expect each and every game out of a starter ... I definitely feel comfortable going out there."
As a defender, Sinovic offered a slight change of pace in the Open Cup qualifier on Wednesday night throughout different moments in the game. It was his looping through ball to forward Omar Bravo that started the attack and sprung the Mexican designated player towards the New England 18-yard box, where he crossed the ball in front of goal and found Chance Myers to open the night's scoring. Without that speculative ball being played, the 9th minute goal probably never materializes.
"I definitely like to get into the attack. Being a forward back in high school and basically my whole life up until college, I kind of had that attacking instinct," Sinovic said of himself going forward. "It makes me in the attacking end of the field."
But, don't tell him that his place on the field, or even in the team at all for that matter, has been locked up and secured. "I'm just going to try and do my best everyday to fill that role," Sonovic said of earning the leftback job while Espinoza is away. "There's a couple of capable guys on the team, and we'll see what happens."
Regardless of where he finds himself in the team over the next month and the rest of the season, Sinovic certainly grasps just what the win on Wednesday night might do for himself and his teammates' psyche as they move towards a very pivotal, congested part of the schedule. "It was a game that we really needed as a team and hopefully it will kind of spark a little bit of a run for us in MLS play."