Chris Konopka

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Chris Konopka
Personal information
Full name Christopher Konopka
Date of birth (1985-04-14) April 14, 1985 (age 29)
Place of birth Toms River, New Jersey, United States
Height 6 ft 5 in (1.96 m)
Playing position Goalkeeper
Club information
Current team
Toronto FC
Number 1
Youth career
1994–2003 Jersey Shore Boca
2003–2006 Providence Friars
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2004 Jersey Falcons 8 (0)
2007 Kansas City Wizards 0 (0)
2008 Bohemian FC 0 (0)
2009 Sporting Fingal 3 (0)
2010 Waterford United 12 (0)
2011 New York Red Bulls 1 (0)
2012–2013 Philadelphia Union 1 (0)
2013– Toronto FC 0 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of July 15, 2014.
† Appearances (Goals).

Christopher Konopka (born April 14, 1985) is an American soccer player who plays Goalkeeper for Toronto FC of Major League Soccer. He holds both American and Polish citizenship.[1] Konopka is the first American born soccer player to ever win the 'Irish Double'[2] and also the first American player in history to win back-to-back FAI Cup medals. He is also one of a small group of U.S. players who have won a major European domestic league title or a major European domestic cup.[3]

Career[edit]

Youth[edit]

Konopka grew up in Toms River, New Jersey[4] and played both basketball and soccer at Toms River High School East.[5] Konopka came through the youth system of the Jersey Shore Boca soccer club in South Jersey.[6] In the summer of 2003 he played for the club's Premier Development League team,[7] and in the summer of 2004, he played in the same league for the Jersey Falcons.[8]

Providence College[edit]

He played NCAA Division I collegiate soccer in the Big East Conference at Providence College from 2003 to 2006.[9] Konopka earned himself trials in England after his senior season with Charlton Athletic,[10] Cardiff City,[11] and Walsall FC.[12] However, he was unable to sign in the United Kingdom as his attempted acquisition of a Polish passport through ancestry had not yet been completed.

Kansas City Wizards[edit]

He was drafted in the third round, 29th overall, by the Kansas City Wizards in 2007 MLS Supplemental Draft and became the first player in the history of Providence College to be drafted by an MLS team. Konopka became a free agent at the end of the 2007 MLS season after the Wizards elected not exercise his contract option which allowed him to pursue other opportunities without any transfer fee compensation. In December 2007, Konopka was named to the US U-23 National Team player pool by US U23 Head Coach Piotr Novak.

Bohemians[edit]

In 2008 Konopka was invited into pre-season training camp with Bohemian FC in January and signed a one-year contract in March. He was given international clearance to join the "Gypsies" on March 12.[13] Konopka made his debut for the club on February 2, 2008 playing a full ninety minutes in a pre-season friendly match against Monaghan United and made his Bohs first team debut in the League Cup on July 1, 2008 on the road at Derry City. As a member of Bohs, he won the League of Ireland championship and the FAI Cup in 2008. Also while at Bohs, Konopka also impressed with the Bohemians' A-Side in the inaugural A Championship, leading Bohemian to the Grand Final.

Sporting Fingal[edit]

In 2009, Konopka signed a short-term contract with Sporting Fingal of the League of Ireland First Division on July 28 [14] and made his first team debut away against Monaghan United on October 2 earning a 2-2 draw. He appeared in 4 first team matches at Fingal including posting a 4-2 win over Bray Wanderers in the 2009 FAI Cup semi-final on October 25. Konopka helped the club win the 2009 FAI Cup and promotion to the League of Ireland Premier Division for 2010.

Waterford United[edit]

Konopka signed with Waterford on December 18, 2009 for the 2010 season.[15] He made his Waterford United League of Ireland debut on March 5, 2010 posting a 3-0 clean sheet against the Wexford Youths. Konopka received "man of the match" honours from extratime.ie for his performance in keeping a 1-0 clean sheet against Shelbourne F.C. on May 7. It was Waterford's first win over Shelbourne at Tolka Park in 11 years.[16]

Columbus Crew[edit]

Konopka was signed by the Columbus Crew of Major League Soccer from the MLS Goalkeeper Pool on July 26, 2011 and made his club debut in an international friendly exhibition match that evening against Newcastle United of the English Premiere League.[17] He remained with the Crew and was part of the 18 man roster for their 2-0 win over Real Salt Lake on July 30, 2011.[18] He was called-in again by Columbus on September 10, 2011 and was part of the 18 man roster for the Crew’s MLS league games against Toronto,[19] Houston[20] and Philadelphia.[21]

New York Red Bulls[edit]

Konopka was signed by New York Red Bulls of Major League Soccer from the MLS Goalkeeper Pool on August 13, 2011. He made his league debut that evening, starting for New York in a 2-2 draw with Chicago Fire.[22] His emergency loan ended after the match and he returned to the MLS Goalkeeper Pool.

Philadelphia Union[edit]

On March 2, 2012, the Philadelphia Union of Major League Soccer announced that Konopka signed with the club.[23] On May 9, 2012, Konopka helped the Union defeate German powerhouse Schalke 04 in an international friendly exhibition match.[24] Konopka made his MLS league debut for the Union on May 26, 2012 vs. Toronto FC[25] and three days later on May 29, 2012, Konopka helped Philadelphia to their first ever US Open Cup victory with a 3-0 win against the Rochester Rhinos.[26] Konopka began the 2013 season as the Union's number two keeper. He helped Philadelphia shut-out Pumas UNAM 1-0 in an international friendly match on March 23, 2013[27] and also played a solid 45 minutes against Stoke City of England's Premier League on July 30, 2013.[28]

Toronto FC[edit]

On September 13, 2013, the Philadelphia Union traded Konopka to Toronto FC in exchange for a third round pick in the 2014 MLS Superdraft.[29] Konopka made his TFC debut in the 2014 preseason vs. DC United.[30] He also played a full 90 minutes in a 2-1 friendly win against the USL's Willmington Hammerheads on June 19, 2014[31] and started for Toronto against Tottenham in an international friendly match on July 23,2014.[32]

Senior Career Statistics[edit]

Club Season League* League Cup National Cup UEFA-CONCACAF Other** Total
Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Jersey Falcons 2004 8 8
Kansas City Wizards 2007 18 18
Bohemian FC 2008 1 18 19
Sporting Fingal 2009 3 1 4 8
Waterford United 2010 12 2 1 8 23
Columbus Crew 2011 2 2
New York Red Bulls 2011 1 4 5
Philadelphia Union 2012 1 1 7 9
2013 9 9
Toronto FC 2013
2014 3 3
Career Totals 25 3 3 73 104
League* includes promotion/relegation and playoff games.
Other** includes Munster Senior Cup, LOI A-Championship, LOI A-Shield, MLS Reserve League and friendly exhibition matches.

Honours[edit]

Waterford United[edit]

Sporting Fingal[edit]

Bohemians[edit]

Providence College[edit]

  • First player in PC history to be drafted by a MLS team (2007)
  • Named Team Co-Captain (2006)
  • Second GK in PC history to receive All-BIG EAST League Honors (Second Team-2006)
  • Finished third all-time in most career GK games played at PC (2003–2006)
  • Finished consecutive seasons among top BIG EAST GK statistical leaders (2006 & 2005)
  • Set NCAA single-season records of 9 ties and 12 overtime games (2005)
  • Most BIG EAST regular season wins in PC history (2006)
  • Most career NCAA Tournament appearances in PC history (3 games in 2005-2006)
  • Most PC GK games played in a single season (20 in 2005)
  • Most PC GK minutes played in a single season (2020:38 in 2005)
  • First PC GK to record NCAA Tournament win (2005)
  • First PC GK to appear in NCAA Tournament 2nd round (2005)

Club and National Team Competition[edit]

  • Toronto FC-Major League Soccer (2013- )
  • Philadelphia Union-Major League Soccer (2012-2013)
  • New York Red Bulls-Major League Soccer (2011)
  • Columbus Crew-Major League Soccer (2011)
  • Waterford United FC-League of Ireland (2010)
  • Sporting Fingal FC-League of Ireland (2009)
  • Bohemian FC-League of Ireland (2008)
  • United States U23 National Team Player Pool (2007)
  • Kansas City Wizards-Major League Soccer (2007)
  • Major League Soccer Player Combine (2007)
  • Providence College-NCAA-Big East Conference (2003–2006)
  • USL Premiere Development League (2003–2004)
  • USASA U23 Jersey Shore Boca (2005–2006)
  • United States U19 Regional Team (2001–2004)
  • NJ State Team (1998–2004)
  • USL Super Y-League (1999–2000)
  • USYSA Jersey Shore Boca (1994–2004)

References[edit]

  1. ^ Seltzer, Greg."American Exports: Konopka invited to Polish club", MLSsoccer.com, December 1, 2010
  2. ^ O'Kelly, Declan."American Wins Irish Double at Bohs", Irish Voice, December 17, 2008.
  3. ^ Seltzer, Greg."American Exports: Notepad", MLSsoccer.com, May 5, 2011.
  4. ^ Edelson, Steve. "Konopka right at home, in Ireland", Asbury Park Press, March 12, 2008
  5. ^ Chris Konopka, Providence Friars. Accessed April 8, 2008.
  6. ^ [1][dead link]
  7. ^ [2][dead link]
  8. ^ "2004 Jersey Falcons". Pdl.uslsoccer.com. Retrieved September 13, 2013. 
  9. ^ "Chris Konopka Named To The US Soccer Region I Under-19 Men's Olympic Development Team - FRIARS.COM - The Providence College Official Athletic Site". Friars.Com. December 12, 2003. Retrieved September 13, 2013. 
  10. ^ "Charlton take American goalkeeper Chris Konopka on trial| Soccer Blog|Football News, Reviews, Quizzes". Soccer-blogger.com. February 6, 2007. Retrieved September 13, 2013. 
  11. ^ [3][dead link]
  12. ^ "Big Apple Soccer". Big Apple Soccer. Retrieved September 13, 2013. 
  13. ^ [4][dead link]
  14. ^ "Sporting Move For Keeps", Fingal Independent, September 2, 2009.
  15. ^ "Konopka joins Waterford from Fingal', RTE.ie, December 19, 2009.
  16. ^ [5], extratime.ie, May 7, 2010
  17. ^ King, Andrew."Newcastle proves too much for Crew", Columbus Sports Network, July 26, 2011
  18. ^ MLSsoccer.com [6], July 30, 2011
  19. ^ MLSsoccer.com [7], September 10, 2011
  20. ^ MLSsoccer.com [8], September 14, 2011
  21. ^ MLSsoccer.com [9], September 17, 2011
  22. ^ Kristian Dyer (August 14, 2011). "Konopka makes "dream" first MLS start". New York Red Bulls. Retrieved September 13, 2013. 
  23. ^ Philadelphia Union Communications."Union sign goalkeeper Chris Konopka", March 2, 2012.
  24. ^ The Philly Soccer Page."Match Report Philadelphia Union 2-1 Schalke 04", May 10, 2012.
  25. ^ The Philly Soccer Page."Match Report Philadelphia Union 0-1 Toronto FC", May 27, 2012.
  26. ^ Comcast Sportsnet."Union Take Cup Opener", May 29, 2012.
  27. ^ The Philly Soccer Page."Match Report Philadelphia Union 1-0 Pumas", March 24, 2013.
  28. ^ The Philly Soccer Page."Match Report Philadelphia Union 0-2 Stoke City", July 31, 2013.
  29. ^ Toronto FC press release."Reds Acquire Chris Konopka" September 13, 2013.
  30. ^ Toronto FC press release."Preseason in Florida: Toronto FC Defeat DC United 1-0" February 5, 2014.
  31. ^ Toronto FC press release."Friendly Finishes" June 19, 2014.
  32. ^ Soccerly.com "Tottenham Down Toronto at BMO" July 23, 2014.

External links[edit]