By Aaron Tomich/NPSL.com
The prospect of a successful future is a universal dream for people young and old. The chase of those career goals and ambitions, many times, defines someone’s legacy.
17-year-old Kenny Hot, a midfielder for FC Motown, knew in his adolescence that he would love the sport of soccer. His father would take him to watch games in upstate New York, where he immediately loved the atmosphere and the environment surrounding the sport.
His involvement didn’t stop at fandom. Growing up in a golden age of technology and instant global connection, Kenny has been able to follow the sport’s very best. To name a few, he closely followed Andres Iniesta, Xavi, before currently following Frenkie de Jong and Luka Modric among a list of other high-profile athletes (particularly out of La Liga in Spain).
The midfielder said that he very much has modeled his play after these icons, but has specifically been told that he closely reminds his teammates of being like FC Barcelona’s Frenkie de Jong.
“Frenkie is out there on the field doing body-faints, with defenders on his back, he just kind of leaves the ball there [in-place], but moves his body in different directions,” said Kenny. “I think that’s something I do a lot and something I’ve learned from watching Barcelona my whole life.”
Kenny describes himself as a two-way, complete player. In the midfield, he says that he can make the quick switch from offense to defense, then back again. His head coach, Sacir Hot (who is also his immediate cousin), says that Kenny is box-to-box and is that kind of player that takes action to attack and steps-up where needed.
“He’s a warrior,” said Sacir about Kenney. “He’s fearless. He’s not afraid to make tackles against guys twice his size.”
From the coach’s perspective, a player such as Kenny is a dream. Sacir said that his younger cousin has the mentality, maturity, and work ethic of a 30-year-old veteran. This, coming from a head coach who has first-hand experience at top levels of professional soccer.
Sacir signed a contract with the New York Red Bulls in MLS after he spent some time training with Borussia Mönchengladbach and Borussia Dortmund of the German Bundesliga. His pro career ended at age 21, and his approach towards his younger players is one of leadership and guidance.
“I was given the keys to help manage FC Motown, and one thing I wanted to emphasize was to try and help these younger men navigate life and professional soccer,” said Sacir.
When it comes to the relationship between the two, on and off the pitch, both Kenny and Sacir agree that it is a special one; where it is business in training and during matches, but also a fun, family relationship off of it.
Looking to the not-so-distant future, Kenny hopes to continue to play his best with the highest level teams he can be a part of. He is currently committed to attend Duke University and has a spot on their roster after high school. The midfielder has already been a part of the United States Youth National Team, and continues to work hard to earn more call-ups within his respective age group.
What is Kenny’s ultimate potential?
“This kid [Kenny] deserves to be playing… In fact, he should be playing for a top club in Europe right now,” said Sacir. “He’s a really, really solid player.”
Kenny knows he has the work ethic to achieve the dream of playing professional soccer, and is determined to do whatever it takes to make that dream come true. If that means stepping up to play at higher levels than he’s used to, or against bigger people, so be it.
“What’s so great about what I’m doing now [playing with FC Motown] is that I’m playing alongside guys that are currently in college or have already played in college,” said Kenny. “I’m learning a lot from them, so that’s something that I value a lot and has continually helped my growth.”
Photo Credit: Peter Bonilla