KANSAS CITY, Mo. – It took less than a week for Seth Sinovic to make his way back to Kansas City, but it came at a considerable price.
On Monday, just five days after the Impact took Sinovic with their final pick in the Expansion Draft, Montreal traded the Kansas City native back to Sporting, along with allocation money, in exchange for veteran midfielder Davy Arnaud.
What may come as somewhat of a surprise, however, is that Sinovic, 24, contemplated retiring when faced with the prospect of leaving Kansas City following a tenuous eight months in which he was cut by New England and eventually landed with his local club.
“It’s my hometown, it’s where I grew up,” Sinovic told MLSsoccer.com on Tuesday. “It’s where all my family is, and that was definitely something that was in the back of my head. If Montreal was going to take me, it was something where I would consider potentially giving [my career] up and staying here in Kansas City. It definitely had crossed my mind.”
Manager Peter Vermes corroborated that statement, mentioning he felt Sporting held most of the cards in the negotiation process and confirming that there was a good chance Sinovic wouldn’t be playing in 2012 had he ended up anywhere but Kansas City.
“Most people didn’t realize that there was a good chance that Seth wouldn’t be playing soccer if he was going to have to move," Vermes said. "He wanted to stay here in Kansas City. He dealt with a lot of adversity over this past year. … This is his hometown. I think he finally found a place that he can call home in the game as well.”
According to Vermes, trade conversations began percolating as soon as the protected lists for the Expansion Draft were released, eventually culminating in the deal that brought Sinovic back to the Midwest and sent Kansas City’s captain and longest-tenured player to Quebec.
“At the end of the day, the deal that was struck was [after] both parties had long discussions on this,” Vermes said. “I don’t just mean Montreal and Sporting – Davy and his agent were in on that as well. At the end, everyone felt that it was probably the best thing for all parties.”
On the surface, the deal certainly made sense for everyone involved.
In Arnaud, Montreal get a potential captain and a player driven to show he has a few more productive years remaining after fighting through injuries this season in Kansas City. For their part, Sporting managed to reacquire their starting left back for much of 2011 and pick up allocation money to bolster the current squad in the process.
Vermes said multiple teams expressed interest in Arnaud in addition to Montreal, and the Impact’s willingness to match value with value allowed the deal to get done.
“There was no doubt that there was emphasis in trying to get [Sinovic] back,” Vermes said, “but there was also part of this that we needed to get value for Davy Arnaud as well. The two things were separate of each other.”
Fortunately for Kansas City, though, those aims aligned, allowing Sporting to hold onto what has quickly become a prized asset and Sinovic to stay in the his hometown after what he described as a “difficult few days.”
“It was obviously not the easiest thing to hear my name called,” Sinovic said. “I definitely wanted to stay in Kansas City. It was always the goal to get back here.”