Just the proud sister of a newly crowned MLS Cup champion

Just the proud sister of a newly crowned MLS Cup champion
From left to right: Emily Sinovic, Carolyn Koppes (grandma), Martha (Mom) Seth (Champ) Adam (brother) and Bill (Dad)

See that picture up there. That's my family holding one big shiny MLS Cup but hiding something else.  Somebody's pants are split wide open right down the backside. We're talking 10 inch split down the butt. 

Breezy, but if there was a time not to care, this was it, because the story behind it is the same reason I'm writing today. 

You see, my brother, Seth Sinovic, and his MLS team, Sporting KC, just won the MLS Cup.

"We" won.

End of story?

Not even close.

They won it in our hometown of Kansas City in front of 20,000 plus screaming fans. Sporting Park sits just minutes away from the fields where I remember not too long ago, the three of us crammed in the backseat of my mom’s Toyota Previa headed to soccer practice listening to light rock radio.

Fast forward to this past weekend, championship game, pants splitting and all... I have been close to tears a few times since then, for a few reasons...

1. Realizing how close my mother, father, myself, brother and grandmother (all in attendance) were to death. Heart attack, stroke, seizure…Not sure what I was feeling. But here’s an idea: that’s me and my brother Adam– BEFORE the 30 minute overtime and 10 rounds of penalty kicks. (Seriously. That happened).

 

2.    This:

A moment I will never forget. Rushing the field after the win. That's me, strangling my brother, the new MLS champ, right before my other brother jumped him in so much excitement that Adam's pants were a lost cause… splitsville.

3. Not caring about losing feeling in toes, hands, legs with a nearly zero degree wind chill because THIS JUST HAPPENED.

4. Celebrating with dozens of family—really, that's not an exaggeration. Honestly, I just lost count of the Sinovc jerseys littering the field in the post-game celebration.

5. Knowing the most important fans covered in confetti were my parents and my grandma who never missed a game, a stat, a play, or an opportunity to make sure everyone knew Sporting KC was going to win it all … and of course, Seth was the best.

6. Walking out of the empty stadium alone with my brother hours after the big win, about to drive him home to celebrate with so many great, dear friends… but taking a moment for this:


An empty stadium, a unrecognizably proud soccer player with a gold medal to show for it… taking in the moment.

7. Going to bed at 5 a.m. the next morning with an appreciation for what some people call “just a game.” And the understanding that it is so much more.

It is family. It is hard work. It is heartbreak. It is celebration. It is gratitude. It is a city on its feet for more than two hours in zero degrees believing in a team, believing in every player and coach and pushing, willing them, begging them to be their best. This wasn’t “just a game”. This was a night, a weekend my family will forever remember. 

8. Knowing this can’t last forever and for most, this isn’t even a once-in-a-lifetime experience—this is a real gift.  I don’t want to ever forget this time in life.

And to so many wonderful Portland fans—family always comes first.  I know most of you can agree, but I could not be more grateful for the friends, the adopted family and soccer community who make me feel like I can cheer loud, jump and pump my fist and scream at the TV , “THAT’s MY BROTHER!” without feeling ashamed… or at least you guys do a great job of making me feel cool about it.

I mean, how many places would ask to have a SINOVIC jersey hanging in a Portland soccer bar… this place.  (Thanks 442 Soccer Bar).

I’ve attached a few pictures from the night/morning/weekend…. What day is it? Still on a high. And so proud. So very proud. Seth. Sporting KC.  MLS Champs.