Aaron Kovar once again spent the offseason on trial with several teams in the United Kingdom. Kovar’s recent twitter activity suggests he is back in Seattle preparing for the start of Sounders’ training camp on Tuesday
Still just 23, Kovar will be heading into his fourth professional season and it will almost certainly be his most important to date.
At least one of his former teammates believes he’s got a real chance to break out. Newly minted ESPN commentator Herculez Gomez called Kovar one of the Sounders’ most talented players, who has potential to be a very good MLS player.
“The sky’s the limit for him,” Gomez recently told Sounder at Heart. “He can be as good as he wants to be.
“If we’re just talking about talent, he’s one of the most talented players on the team. He’s got a very cultured left foot, he’s very good in 1v1. Those types of players are difference makers, they break tactical environments. They can make defenses look very different. It’s all up to him. I’m a big fan of his, I think he can do very well for the sounders.”
Kovar is coming off easily his best professional season, earning 10 starts, playing more than 800 minutes and scoring his first professional goal. But a shoulder injury pushed him out of the rotation and he ended up making just a single 16-minute appearance over the Sounders’ final 21 games.
Given the way Kovar’s season ended, Gomez expressed strong support for Kovar looking for opportunities overseas.
“I’ve seen this many times, where if you’re a local kid you don’t get treated seriously until you leave the team,” he said. “So you go somewhere else, a lot of times the benefit of the doubt goes to the guy coming in from the outside. It’s unfortunate but it’s the truth.
“If Aaron leaves and goes somewhere else, you could see his name in the news exploding on the scene. I’d hope he can do those things in Seattle but that’s up to management and the coaching staff, and Aaron as well. He’s got some faults too.”
The good news — at least from Kovar’s perspective — is that the Sounders seem willing to wait until midseason to make a high-priced addition (likely a winger). Kovar will likely have the opportunity to win some minutes, and Gomez is confident that opportunity is all the midfielder needs.
“If he does day in and day out what I see on the training pitch, he can be a very good player in this league,” Gomez said.