Dan Kennedy spoke to reporters for the final time as a Chivas USA player on Sunday, following the Goats' 1-0 victory over San Jose. Always a popular man in the locker room after games, Kennedy's tone was quite measured on his final day as club captain.
Unsurprisingly, DK was asked a variety of questions, from the game itself (albeit briefly) to his future to his reflections on his time with CUSA.
On an immediate level, Kennedy seemed to be content with a win in the club's final match.
"It was a strange feeling for me. I've obviously been here a long time. I was really happy the guys put in a full shift. I didn't have much to do, and we got a win," he said.
Looking back, given the strong finish to the season, he did wonder out loud what might have been, on the field anyway, for the team.
"I think we can get some positives, and we were a couple results, a couple hard decisions in games away from getting to that 10-win mark, maybe 12-win mark, which would have changed everything.
"But I'm really proud of everyone that's been in this locker room, and everything that we've gone through this year, and we've stuck together, and you saw that in the last month, three wins out of four games."
Arguably, Kennedy has had one of the most tumultuous stints in league history as an established veteran at a single club. Despite being an undisputed starter for the Goats the past four seasons, and racking up an MLS All-Star nod in 2012, Kennedy has played for six different head coaches at CUSA, and has seen the club change ownership situations three times in less than two and a half years.
Bearing that in mind, the club's appearances leader admitted the season was difficult: "It challenges your focus. It challenges your ability just to filter out what you can't control and make sure what you can control a priority."
But when asked if he was relieved to be past Chivas USA altogether, DK did not describe it that way.
"I'm not sure it's relief. I mean, I think we've seen the struggles of this club off the field, and certainly that translated to on the field. So change was going to come," he said.
"And I think MLS did a good job by stepping in and taking responsibility for this team this year, and we've improved our record."
Of course, Kennedy was asked about the future, and he was relatively candid, understanding that he will be moving on soon, though official word would not come down publicly until Monday.
With teammate Erick Torres unlikely to enter the Dispersal Draft, which will scatter Chivas USA players under contract and wanted by other teams in the league, Kennedy looks to be the top prize among the club's player pool.
Kennedy clarified his contract situation, saying he was under contract (no option this year) through the 2015 season.
When told he would have to go somewhere, he responded, "I hope so." And when the possibility of the LA Galaxy came up, the team that he was reportedly nearly traded to before the 2013 season, Kennedy simply said, "Yeah, you never know."
But when asked directly if he had a preference of which MLS team he would end up with next season, Kennedy flatly said, "No."
Still, his mind was clearly on the experience of the final game on Sunday, and the club's captain did offer appreciation for Chivas USA's fans.
"I feel for the fans a bit. Looking them in the eye and seeing how much this means to them. We've been in it together for a long time, so I certainly owe a lot of thanks to the fans," he said.
"I shot [the supporters] a tweet before the game, just to make sure they understand how grateful we are for them. And my goal was to walk around and try to clap as many hands as I could with them, because I know I'm going to see them again, just maybe in a different situation. They might be rooting against me. But I think they'll be a fan of me."
"This is my home. This is really the place that gave me the opportunity to play in this league. And I tried to establish myself in this league. I'm forever grateful for that. I've had some really amazing times, not only with my teammates but the fans and my family, and it's all because I had the opportunity to play here."
"Hopefully I made the most of it. And I'm just going to continue to push on, and work for whatever team I go to."
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