Connect with us

Sporting KC

Daniel Salloi has turned into a seasoned veteran

Daniel Salloi sits down for an interview with the Kansas City Soccer Journal.

Published

on

Daniel Salloi | Credit: Thad Bell

At times like these, a locker room needs players who have been through it all. Gritty, seasoned veterans. Players who keep a level head through the tough times and share their experience with the rest of the team.

I’m not exactly sure when it happened, but right before our eyes, Daniel Salloi has grown into the experienced vet Sporting KC needs right now.

“We need to get better,” he stated bluntly. “But we also need to stay calm a little bit, you know. Trust ourselves that we have it.”

We sat down with Daniel after a training session as Sporting prepares to face the Colorado Rapids in a battle to avoid last place in Major League Soccer. It’s a Wooden Spoon battle royale! A clash of inadequacy. A deflating derby, if you will. But Salloi understands just how important this match is. As he spoke to us, it became apparent we weren’t sitting at the table with the same kid Aly Trost and I used to call “Little Brother” and get angry when someone tackled him too hard. No, the guy across from us was calm, cool, and collected.

But also motivated.

“As an attacking player, I feel embarrassed watching the highlights back in the MLS Wrap Up show and we don’t have a single chance against Philly. That’s something I take to heart.”

Daniel has matured. In fact at one point, he almost sounded like that really strict high school coach you had.

“Go home, look in the mirror, tell yourself you’re a good player, and then come and try to do it. Then if this doesn’t work this weekend, you’ll do it next week. It’s life! We all make mistakes, but just play your game.”

Salloi turns 27 this year. A number that would, objectively, classify him as young. But it’s been nine years since the Hungarian arrived in Kansas City to join the SKC Academy, somehow as a Homegrown Player. (The LA Galaxy has its tricks to navigate MLS rules… Peter Vermes has his.) We’ve been watching the kid for nearly a decade as he hit the highs and fell to the lows.

It’s funny, butgot to a point where I‘ve been to ups, I’ve been to downs, andrealized how to how to deal with it in terms of I‘m not too stressed about it. I don’t get caught up when something goes really well. Everything thatdid, helped my career.”

When it comes to the ‘ups’ of his career, he’s got a 2017 US Open Cup trophy and led the team in scoring in 2018 (11) and 2021 (16). But Salloi points to his 2019 season, in which he scored just one goal, as when he struggled the most. He no longer shies away from the issue as he did the following the season. He laughed about getting conflicting advice from all angles. Players, coaches, people on the street, everyone offers support and it can be overwhelming. He knows what it’s like in a slump and he’s seen how to push through it.

So when exactly will Sporting KC do that? Daniel says they can’t wait any longer. The left winger doubled down on his assertion of a “must win” match, after comments from Peter Vermes caused a stir among SKC fans.

“He’s right in terms of, yes […] the season is very long. No game is a ‘must win’. But at one point… you have to stop and say, okay, we’ve got to start winning. I want to give our fans the joy of coming to the game, and seeing us win. Because they they deserve it.”

The full interview is filled with great stuff from Daniel. We talked at length about the lack of goals and attacking issues, why some players may be struggling, and how the new/returning players will change things.

But it’s always fun with him as well. We got into MLS rivalries and heckling fans. He gave us a few good stories about Philly fans, including someone calling Tim Melia a Teletubby.

Being a veteran player in KC, he’s ready for the rivalry with St. Louis City SC. And he’s here for the Soccer Capital of America banter.

I think that’s hilarious. I think it’s it’s awesome. I love it.”

So in case you missed it, Daniel Salloi isn’t a kid anymore. Our boy has grown up and looks ready for the task at hand. Sporting KC will need him, and his new veteran mindset, to lead by example if they hope to turn things around this season. Time is running out.

Check out the whole conversation below. Please subscribe, rate, and review the KC Soccer Journal wherever you get your podcasts! 

 

Recent Comments

KC Soccer Journal in your Inbox!

Be the first to know when news breaks, sign up to get all of our posts sent directly to your inbox.

Facebook

Follow us on Twitter