San Diego area product Jovan Kirovski, now with the Los Angeles Galaxy, was signed by Manchester United at age 16, transferred to Germany’s Borussia Dortmund won a UEFA Champions League title. He signed a big-money deal with legendary Portuguese club Sporting Lisbon and later played three seasons in England. He played 62 times for the USA. But Kirovski remains the forgotten star of American soccer, perhaps because he never played in a World Cup.
Mark Zeigler checked in with the 34-year-old Kirovski, who said, "I mean, I know I’m toward the end. But I’m enjoying it. I still feel good. I feel I can perform at a good level and help the team, and as long as I can help the team, I’ll keep going."
Kirovski's career remains an enigma to many. He was part of a legendary Man United youth academy group that included David Beckham, Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes, Nicky Butt and the Neville brothers. Steve Kelly, Giggs’ youth coach, told Sports Illustrated in 1995: “Jovan can make as much of an impact on world soccer as Giggs. In two years he’ll be a big name. I’d bet my life on him.”
Kirovski has no regrets that he didn't live up to those expectations: "I have none. I’ve been to some places where (American players) haven’t been. I’ve been able to play with some big clubs, and looking back maybe I didn’t get to play enough at certain clubs, but how do you turn that down?