Veteran Influence

Two-Goal Performance Highlights Kirovski’s Impact

kirovski

Photo Credit: 
jamie sabau

The unbeaten LA Galaxy have
been getting surprising performances from a number of players this season, and
last Saturday was no different.

The latest lift came
courtesy of Jovan Kirovski, a 34-year-old forward who recorded his first
multi-goal game in almost three years in the Galaxy's 4-1 victory over the
Houston Dynamo. The game wasn't even a minute old when Kirovski scored with
assists from Sean Franklin and
Michael Stephens, and he was at it again 20 minutes later with the same trio
hooking up for the team's go-ahead goal.

"When my opportunity
came I had two great chances," he said. "They played some great balls
and I put them away."

It was the fifth multi-goal
game of Kirovski’s MLS career, and his first since he accomplished the feat
against the New England Revolution on Aug. 16, 2007 while he was a member of
the Colorado Rapids. Kirovski didn't score any goals in 2008, when he split
time with Colorado
and the San Jose Earthquakes, because of an injury but he did score twice in 22
games and 13 starts with the Galaxy in 2009.

His recent numbers might not
be what he has been hoping for, but Kirovski said he never lost any confidence.

"I'm always confident
in my ability," he said as he prepared for Wednesday's game in Real Salt
Lake. "I come in
every day and work hard. I know my role. This is similar to what I had last
year, just fill in, especially with guys leaving for the World Cup or injuries.

"We have so many games
on our schedule, and when I'm called upon I want to go out and perform and do
whatever I can to help the team."

Kirovski has started four
games this season and has scored three goals. Only Edson Buddle, currently with
the U.S. national team for
the World Cup in South
Africa, has more with nine.

"He's what, our
second-leading goal scorer for the year?" head coach Bruce Arena asked
with a grin. "I've known Jovan for a number of years. He's a very good
player, a very bright player and a very technical player.

"Good players usually
get some big goals, and he got us a couple last year as well. When good players
are in position to make a play, more often than not they're going to make
it."

Kirovski, who still makes
his home in Escondido and makes the almost 200-mile round trip to and from The
Home Depot Center for games and practices, had a minor setback early in
training camp when he was lost for five weeks with an injured medial collateral
ligament in his left knee. But he said he's 100 percent and feels great.

"I felt good all
preseason, and I feel good now," he said. "That was just a minor
setback. No big deal."

Kirovski said he has plenty
of soccer left in him, but he's already thinking about his future. He secured
his Class 'B' coaching license during the offseason and said that career could
be something he'll pursue when his playing days are over.

He doesn't plan on that
happening anytime soon, but he simply wants to keep his options open.

"I want to stay in the
game," he said. "I've been around it for a long time and I love it.
(Coaching) is just something I wanted to keep as an option, something I feel
I'd be good at. I've done this my whole life, I want to help the young
kids."

First, however, he has every
intention of helping the Galaxy. He's proven to be a more than capable
substitute off the bench, and when he starts he's capitalized on his chances.

"I still feel
great," he said. "As long as I can help the team, that's all I care
about. I just take it one game at a time."