Player countdown: Kevin Novak
How it all came to be...
Kevin Novak's soccer career began with the American Youth Soccer Organization (AYSO) at the young age of five. He remembers his early childhood playing AYSO in sunny southern California as care-free and fun. He continued to play with his passion and excitement for the sport growing daily. When he was 10 years-old, Novak decided to take his career to the next level by joining Wolfpack Soccer Club. Novak spent the next eight years competing for the Wolfpack while still playing for his high school team.
During Novak's high school career, he made many great strides. Novak graduated from Mater Dei High School in Santa Ana, Calif., in 2000. At Mater Dei, he was a three-year letterman and a two-time All-South Coast League first team selection. As a captain his senior year, Novak was named All-Sierra League, Sierra League Defensive Player of the Year and the coveted title of CIF Player of the Year.
Novak left Mater Dei High School and entered the next level of his soccer career at the college ranks. He had offers from many universities, but decided to stay in California and play for Loyola Marymount University (LMU) on a four year scholarship. Novak finished his career at LMU ranked second in career goals scored with 23, third in career points with 54 and tied for 10th in career assists, adding eight.
During his senior year at LMU, Novak earned his first-ever NSCAA award for his stellar offensive performance and finished the year as the Lions' leading scorer with nine goals and 19 points despite sitting out the last six games with a season-ending knee injury. He also garnered All-West Coast Conference honorable mention accolades for his performance during the first half of the season.
Novak graduated from LMU in May 2004 and was unsure of what his future held in regards to his soccer career because of his knee injury he suffered his senior year at LMU. He missed the 2004 MLS Combine and the 2004 MLS SuperDraft due to his knee injury. Novak spent his time off waiting tables at California Pizza Kitchen and trained by himself for eight months hoping to get an opportunity to showcase his talents to an MLS team and prove that he belonged in the league.
Then Novak's big break came when RSL Head Coach John Ellinger, saw him play at the Real Salt Lake open tryouts in Provo, Utah in January 2005. He was invited to attend RSL's inaugural training camp at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla., on February 1, 2005. He continued his trial period with the team in Portugal and Redlands, Calif., eventually earning a spot on RSL's roster and signing a Developmental contract on March 28, 2005.
Coach Ellinger's Call...
"Kevin Novak came to our open tryout in January and I liked what I saw. He is a versatile player who can play the midfield or forward position. He is also quick and crafty with the ball, making him extremely hard to defend because he can get behind the defender and get crosses into the box. He's someone we look to advance pretty quickly."
Field Vision: Defender Nelson Akwari says...
"Kevin is a quick, hard-working and very strong player who is extremely hard to knock off the ball. He is quick-witted and very funny off the field, but very quiet and reserved on the field. He's in great shape and can run all day, and will do anything to win."
Things you need to know...
Playing with his dog, Joey, reading and playing cards
Major in college:
Finance and Marketing
Most memorable moment:
Scoring the game-tying and game-winning goals against Creighton, who was ranked No. 5 in the nation, senior year
The Client by John Grisham
Favorite TV show:
Favorite athlete outside of soccer:
Trot Nixon of the Boston Red Sox
Signing with Real for his first MLS season