On Sunday, former Seattle Sounders winger Aaron Kovar announced his retirement. Kovar, 25, signed a Homegrown Player deal with the Sounders in January 2014. He played in 43 MLS matches, including 32 with the Rave Green and 11 with LAFC while on loan in 2018. In November, he was out of contract with the club and opted to retire a few months later.
Known for his strong left foot, Kovar was one of the first professional players to come out of Sounders Academy, where he played from 2010-12. He was named the 2011 Gatorade Washington State Player of the Year after helping Garfield to the 2010 league title. He was named league and team MVP in 2011 and was a two-time All-KingCo Conference selection.
Kovar played two seasons at Stanford University. As a freshman, he recorded two goals and three assists in 15 matches and was named PAC-12 Freshman of the Year. The following year, he was named a PAC-12 Honorable Mention after registering two goals and six assists in 21 matches.
A member of the squads that won the 2014 Lamar U.S. Open Cup, 2014 Supporters’ Shield and 2016 MLS Cup, Kovar was part of some of the most memorable moments in club history. In 2016, he set a career high with 16 appearances and 10 starts, and he scored his lone MLS goal that May against the New England Revolution.