Longtime Sporting Kansas City defender Seth Sinovic has announced his retirement from professional soccer after an excellent 11-year playing career in MLS. The Kansas City native represented his hometown club from 2011-2019, helping Sporting win an MLS Cup and three Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup titles as an integral part of the team’s backline.
Sinovic will be formally honored at halftime of Sunday’s Western Conference clash between first-place Sporting Kansas City and second-place Seattle Sounders FC at Children’s Mercy Park. Tickets for the 6 p.m. CT showdown are available at SeatGeek.com.
“I want to thank everyone who has supported and encouraged me throughout my MLS career,” Sinovic said. “This journey would not have been possible without the coaches who have guided me in becoming a better player and a better person. To my teammates from Sporting Kansas City to the New England Revolution, I want to offer my deepest thanks. The memories and friendships I have developed over the years and continue to hold are invaluable.
“I especially want to thank Kansas City and the Sporting KC fans who supported me for nine years. You, more than anyone, kept me going. It was an incredible honor to play for my hometown club and to be a part of such a special community. I am also eternally grateful for the Sporting Club ownership group. The Illigs, Pattersons, Madays, Currans and Heinemans have made me feel like part of the family from day one. Experiencing the growth and success of this team and organization was more rewarding than I ever could have ever imagined."
Sinovic, 34, ranks seventh in club history with 257 appearances and places sixth in both starts (245) and minutes played (21,791) across all competitions. The fan-favorite left back was part of a Sporting side that made eight straight playoff appearances from 2011-2018 and started in all four of the club’s cup final victories throughout the decade—the 2013 MLS Cup and the 2012, 2015 and 2017 U.S. Open Cups.
“Seth was a fiercely competitive player and a selfless teammate who helped us win four championships and experience lots of success as a club,” Sporting Kansas City Manager and Sporting Director Peter Vermes said. “He has also shown great commitment to serving the Kansas City community and engaging with our fans in meaningful ways. He will always be a part of the Sporting family and we thank him for everything.”
Sinovic’s standout MLS career was bookended by year-long stints with the New England Revolution in 2010 and 2020. He started 233 of 246 MLS appearances in 11 seasons, including starts in all 15 playoff matches as a member of Sporting. During his nine-year spell in Kansas City, Sinovic posted a 96-61-53 regular season record and contributed to 66 shutouts, third most among MLS defenders between 2011 and 2019. He also had four goals and 16 assists for the club, notably scoring one of the most iconic goals in Sporting history to help his team defeat New England in the 2013 Eastern Conference Semifinals at Children’s Mercy Park.
Following a successful four-year college career at Creighton University, Sinovic began his professional journey with the New England Revolution as the 25th overall pick in the second round of the 2010 MLS SuperDraft. He started 18 of 20 regular season matches as a rookie and logged four additional appearances in the 2010 SuperLiga.
Sinovic left New England ahead of the 2011 MLS campaign and signed for Sporting that spring, marking the start of a trophy-laden run under Manager Peter Vermes. From his club debut on May 28, 2011 to the end of 2014, Sinovic led MLS with 43 clean sheet contributions and ranked second with 58 wins in the regular season.
After breaking out in 2011, Sinovic started 37 games in all competitions during a 2012 campaign that saw Sporting set a club record with 63 points (18-7-9 record), secure 15 regular season shutouts and win the U.S. Open Cup title at Children’s Mercy Park. He started all five matches in the Open Cup and later bagged his first Sporting goal in the 2012 Eastern Conference Semifinals against rivals Houston Dynamo FC.
In Sporting’s 2013 championship season, Sinovic set career-highs with 42 appearances and 41 starts in all competitions. He played every minute in Sporting’s five-game playoff run, scoring a sublime late goal against New England that ultimately helped propel Vermes’ side to the conference finals. In the 2013 MLS Cup against Real Salt Lake at Children’s Mercy Park, Sinovic played all 120 minutes and buried his penalty kick in a gripping 7-6 shootout victory that still stands as the crowning moment in club history.
Sinovic, who joined the United States Men’s National Team for January Camp in 2014, was named Sporting’s Defensive Player of the Year at the end of 2014 with 39 starts and three assists in all competitions. He made a further 24 appearances for the club from 2015-2016, including a start in a victorious 2015 U.S. Open Cup final at the Philadelphia Union.
A brilliant 2017 campaign saw Sinovic start all 36 competitive appearances as Sporting claimed their third Open Cup title in six seasons with a championship win over the New York Red Bulls at Children’s Mercy Park. Sporting conceded just 32 goals in 40 matches that year, with Sinovic providing a steady presence on the left side of defense and scoring his first regular season goal in a home win over the Colorado Rapids.
Sinovic started 46 of 52 appearances in his final two seasons with Sporting, including an exceptional 2018 in which Vermes’ men finished atop the Western Conference standings with an 18-8-8 record. In his final MLS season, Sinovic returned to New England as the Revolution reached the Eastern Conference Final of the 2020 MLS Cup Playoffs.
Away from the field, Sinovic made a profound philanthropic impact on the Kansas City community. Selected as the club’s Neal and Jeanne Patterson Humanitarian of the Year in 2017, he regularly visited Children’s Mercy Hospital to interact with patients receiving care and participated in a variety of activities tied to The Victory Project, the philanthropic arm of Sporting KC dedicated to helping children and families affected by childhood cancer and other challenges. He was also a loyal supporter of Braden's Hope, another organization committed to the fight against childhood cancer.
Born in Kansas City, Missouri, and raised in nearby Leawood, Kansas, Sinovic walked on at Creighton and recorded eight goals and 15 assists in 77 appearances while leading the Bluejays defense to 37 shutouts in four seasons from 2006-2009. Playing primarily at left back and serving as team captain in 2008 and 2009, Sinovic was a two-time All-Missouri Valley Conference First Team and NSCAA All-Midwest Region honoree.
Sinovic, who grew up playing youth soccer with longtime teammate and former Sporting captain Matt Besler, amassed 42 goals and 35 assists at Rockhurst High School from 2001-2005 and appeared in two state championships with the Hawklets. He was a First-Team All-State selection and the Western Missouri Offensive Player of the Year during his senior season when he tallied 25 goals and 15 assists.
Sporting KC defender Graham Zusi
“Seth will quite possibly go down as the most underrated player in this league’s history. His longevity speaks to that. He was ultra-consistent—a very smart, intuitive player and just a really good person as well. His mentality was always team first and I think that showed in his play, in his personality and as a teammate. The great thing about Seth is that he’s a Kansas City guy through and through. Hopefully we can remain close with Seth for years to come and I wish him all the best.”
Sporting KC midfielder Roger Espinoza
“Seth had an amazing career in MLS and it was an honor to be his teammate. He was always the hardest-working player on our team and brought out the best in everyone. I wish him and his family all the best with everything the future holds.”
Sporting KC goalkeeper Tim Melia
“Seth will go down as a great player who was incredibly hard-working and always put the team first. He was one of the most loyal teammates I have ever played with and was incredibly respected in our locker room. Seth had a remarkable career and I wish him the best of luck on his new path.”