Tomasz Kuszczak

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Tomasz Kuszczak
Tomasz Kuszczak Brighton.jpg
Kuszczak with Brighton & Hove Albion in 2012
Personal information
Full name Tomasz Mirosław Kuszczak[1]
Date of birth (1982-03-20) 20 March 1982 (age 32)[2]
Place of birth Krosno Odrzańskie, Poland
Height 1.91 m (6 ft 3 in)[3]
Playing position Goalkeeper
Club information
Current team
Free Agent
Youth career
1998–1999 Śląsk Wrocław
1999–2000 Uerdingen
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2000–2004 Hertha BSC II 87 (0)
2001–2004 Hertha BSC 0 (0)
2004–2007 West Bromwich Albion 31 (0)
2006–2007 Manchester United (loan) 6 (0)
2007–2012 Manchester United 26 (0)
2012 Watford (loan) 13 (0)
2012–2014 Brighton & Hove Albion 84 (0)
National team
1998 Poland U16 3 (0)
2000 Poland U18 3 (0)
2001–2003 Poland U21 14 (0)
2003– Poland 11 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 22:29, 3 May 2014 (UTC).

† Appearances (Goals).

‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 21:40, 14 August 2012 (UTC)

Tomasz Mirosław Kuszczak (Polish pronunciation: [ˈtɔmaʂ ˈkuʂt͡ʂak] ( ); born 20 March 1982) is a Polish footballer who plays as a goalkeeper.

Born in Krosno Odrzańskie, Kuszczak has previously played for Śląsk Wrocław in Poland, as well as for the German clubs KFC Uerdingen 05 and Hertha BSC, before moving in 2004 to England with West Bromwich Albion. During the summer of 2006 he transferred to Manchester United and in 2012 transferred to Brighton & Hove Albion. Kuszczak was released by Brighton & Hove Albion at the end of the 2013/14 season.

Kuszczak made 14 appearances for the Poland under-21 side, and has been capped 11 times at senior level.

Club career[edit]

Hertha BSC[edit]

Born in Krosno Odrzańskie, Poland, Kuszczak joined Germany's Hertha BSC in 2000, spending a year with their reserve team before being promoted to the first team in 2001. He subsequently spent three seasons as the third-choice goalkeeper at the club, behind Gábor Király and Christian Fiedler, and failed to make a single appearance in the Bundesliga. He was out of contract with Hertha when he was signed by the then-West Bromwich Albion manager Gary Megson on 14 July 2004.[4]

West Bromwich Albion[edit]

He made his debut for West Bromwich Albion on 18 September 2004 in a Premier League match against Fulham at The Hawthorns, which ended in a 1–1 draw. He then played in a League Cup match against Colchester United on 21 September 2004, Albion losing 2–1.

Kuszczak had only kept goal in one match in the Premier League before West Brom's game against Manchester United on the penultimate match day of the 2004–05 season, with the Baggies facing a tough relegation battle. He put in a striking performance, having to step in front of the goal after the first choice keeper Russell Hoult was injured in the first half. West Bromwich drew the match 1–1, with Kuszczak remaining unbeaten during his 68 minutes on the pitch. This performance helped Kuszczak earn his first man of the match award in the Premier League. The following week, in the season's last match against Portsmouth, Kuszczak had another impressive game, enabling West Bromwich to win 2–0, and hence stay up in the league.

In 2005–06, Kuszczak was supposed to be the reserve keeper behind Chris Kirkland. With Kirkland injured, Kuszczak kept goal in his first Premier League match of the season on 30 October 2005, but could not prevent Newcastle United from winning 3–0. His performances then improved, allowing him to become the first-choice keeper. This continued despite Kirkland's return from injury.

On 15 January 2006, Kuszczak had an impressive game against Wigan Athletic, making a match-winning save late on from Jason Roberts, with West Bromwich winning the game 1–0. The save was voted "Save of the Season" by viewers of BBC TV's Match of the Day programme.

On 7 July 2006, it was confirmed by West Bromwich Albion manager Bryan Robson that Manchester United made a bid for Kuszczak of around £2 million. On 3 August, West Bromwich Albion rejected a £2.5 million bid for Kuszczak from Manchester United, citing that a one-year loan spell for United starlet Giuseppe Rossi would also have to be included along with the cash to result in a deal. On 10 August 2006, Kuszczak joined Manchester United in a deal involving the transfer of England Under-18 goalkeeper Luke Steele and defender Paul McShane to West Brom.

Manchester United[edit]

Kuszczak training at Manchester United.

When officially announcing the move, Manchester United failed to state the terms of the deal, leading to suggestions that it was a merely a loan deal. Chief executive David Gill clarified the situation, stating, "Tomasz will be a Manchester United player for the next four years, he has come to us on loan for the first year, and then will join us permanently in July 2007."[5]

Kuszczak made his debut against Arsenal on 17 September 2006, he conceded an early penalty but did redeem himself by saving the ensuing spot-kick from Gilberto Silva. Despite saving the penalty, Arsenal's Emmanuel Adebayor scored a late goal which gave them a 1–0 win at Old Trafford, which was the club's first defeat of the season.[6] His first start came in a 2–1 away win over Crewe Alexandra in the League Cup on 25 October.[7] He had his name misspelled on the back of his shirt during this game, with it incorrectly reading "Zuszczak".[8] Although Kuszczak did not play enough Premier League games in the 2006–07 season, he received a winners medal by special application to the Premier League.

Kuszczak punching the ball away in a 2–1 home win over Blackburn Rovers on 21 February 2009

On 2 July 2007, Manchester United announced that the permanent transfer had been completed,[9] for a fee of £2.125 million.[10] Due to Dutch keeper Edwin van der Sar's continued good form and Ben Foster's knee injury, Kuszczak was named Manchester United's number 2 for the 2007–08 season. During an interview in May 2007 Kuszczak stated that he wanted one day to become the number 1 at Manchester United.

On 8 March 2008, in an FA Cup tie against Portsmouth, Kuszczak received a straight red card for a foul on Milan Baroš.[11] By this time all substitutes had been used, therefore Rio Ferdinand was forced to take over between the posts, but failed to stop the penalty that lead to United being knocked out of the FA Cup.

In September 2008, Kuszczak signed a two-year extension which would keep him at Old Trafford until 2012.[12] However, after being overlooked in favour of Ben Foster for the 2009 League Cup Final, Kuszczak faced problems in aiming to become United's new first choice after van der Sar's retirement and expressed discontent with his situation at Manchester United. In 2009 he was said to be considering his long-term future at the club.[13] Kuszczak kept a clean sheet in his first game of the 2009–10 season, a 1–0 home win over Wolverhampton Wanderers in the third round of the League Cup. After Van der Sar suffered an injury, Kuszczak returned to the side for a match against Portsmouth on 28 November. He retained his position in the starting line-up for United's League Cup fifth round match against Tottenham Hotspur, the next league game against West Ham United and the last game of the Champions League group stage against Wolfsburg. Kuszczak kept another clean sheet in United's final game of the decade as they beat Wigan Athletic 5–0 at Old Trafford. However, Van der Sar's return to the team in January 2010 saw him lose his place in the side. He started, however, in the 2010 Football League Cup Final against Aston Villa, which saw him fail to save a penalty in the first minutes of the game, although United went on to win the trophy, after a 2–1 victory.

Kuszczak revealed Alex Ferguson blocked his move to Leeds United on loan but he wish to join either Doncaster Rovers or Sheffield United.[14] On 3 February 2012, Ferguson confirmed that Kuszczak would be out of contract in the summer and that he would not be signing a new contract with the club.[15] Kuszczak's release was confirmed on 1 June 2012 with an announcement on the club's website.[16] After leaving Manchester United, Kuszczak made the accusation that Ferguson held his career back - specifically that he was prevented from joining other clubs by inflating his asking price [17]

Watford (loan)[edit]

On 21 February 2012, Kuszczak signed for Watford on an emergency loan until the end of the season. He stated afterwards that he had joined Watford because he missed being involved on a matchday and wanted to have a chance of being involved in the Euro's in his home country this summer. Kuszczak started 13 games for Watford during his loan spell, missing just one game which was against Middlesbrough on 28 April due to his wife giving birth.

Brighton & Hove Albion[edit]

On 19 June 2012, Kuszczak joined Brighton & Hove Albion, signing a two-year contract.[18] Upon signing for Brighton, Kuszczak revealed that he turned down numerous other clubs to sign for the Seagulls and stated "I spent eight years in the Premier League and that is where I want to be again. I believe I can get there with Brighton because this club is heading in only one direction, and I want to play my part in helping us get there."[19] After his arrival at Brighton & Hove Albion in June 2012 Kuszczak made a huge impact at the club, earning the Albion player of the month award in early 2013 after several match saving performances. Kuszczak made 84 appearances for Brighton & Hove Albion before getting released by the club at the end of the 2013/14 season.[20]

International career[edit]

Kuszczak had also played two international matches by this time, his debut coming on 11 December 2003 against Malta. Poland won the away game 4–0.

Due to his impressive performances for West Bromwich Albion, although the club was ultimately relegated, he was called up to the 23-man Poland national football team for the 2006 FIFA World Cup. However, in a World Cup warm-up match between Poland and Colombia on 30 May 2006, he conceded a goal directly from a long punt by the opposition goalkeeper, Neco Martínez.[21] Kuszczak subsequently ended up as Artur Boruc's back-up during the tournament and did not play.

In May 2008, Kuszczak was named in Poland's squad for UEFA Euro 2008, but was forced to drop out after picking up a back injury.[22] Kuszczak was replaced by Wojciech Kowalewski. A lack of club football at Manchester United had also seen him slide down the pecking order for his country of late, but he was recalled to the squad for the friendly matches against Romania and Canada by new coach Franciszek Smuda, playing in both matches with mixed results. Recently, Kuszczak revealed he was called up on 4 September to play against Montenegro and Moldova in the 2014 FIFA World Cup qualification (UEFA), filling in for injured first choice goalkeeper, Wojciech Szczęsny. Although he became an unused substitute in the first game against Montenegro on 7 September, a 2–2 draw in Podgorica, Montenegro. This was the same outcome for the next qualifier, a 2–0 win over Moldova in Wroclaw. Kuszczak was again called up by Fornalik for the friendly game at Home to South Africa (12 October) and the 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifier against his club-based country, England (16 October). He was tipped to start against South Africa but Fornalik opted with Przemyslaw Tyton after becoming out of the fold at PSV Eindhoven. This game ended as a 1–0 win for the Poles. Kuszczak's only chance to play against England was if Tyton's ankle injury got worse; it didn't. On 14 November, Kuszczak came on at half-time in the international friendly against Uruguay.

Career statistics[edit]

Club[edit]

Kuszczak playing for Watford
Club Season League Cup League Cup Europe Other[nb 1] Total
Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Hertha BSC 2001–02 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2002–03 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2003–04 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
West Bromwich Albion 2004–05 3 0 1 0 1 0 5 0
2005–06 28 0 0 0 2 0 30 0
2006–07 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total 31 0 1 0 3 0 35 0
Manchester United (loan) 2006–07 6 0 5 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 13 0
Manchester United 2007–08 9 0 1 0 1 0 5 0 0 0 16 0
2008–09 4 0 0 0 2 0 2 0 0 0 8 0
2009–10 8 0 1 0 3 0 2 0 0 0 14 0
2010–11 5 0 1 0 2 0 2 0 0 0 10 0
2011–12 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total 32 0 8 0 10 0 11 0 0 0 61 0
Watford (loan) 2011–12 13 0 13 0
Total 13 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 13 0
Brighton & Hove Albion 2012–13 43 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 2 0 46 0
2013–14 41 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 41 0
Total 84 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 2 0 87 0
Career total 160 0 9 0 14 0 11 0 2 0 197 0

Statistics accurate as of match played 3 May 2014[23]

International[edit]

Poland national team[24]
 Year   Apps   Goals 
2003 2 0
2004 0 0
2005 0 0
2006 2 0
2007 1 0
2008 1 0
2009 2 0
2010 2 0
2011 0 0
2012 1 0
Total 11 0

Honours[edit]

Club[edit]

Hertha BSC
Manchester United

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Includes other competitive competitions, including the FA Community Shield, UEFA Super Cup, FIFA Club World Cup

References[edit]

  1. ^ "List of Players". FIFA. Retrieved 28 February 2010. 
  2. ^ Hugman, Barry J. (2005). The PFA Premier & Football League Players' Records 1946–2005. Queen Anne Press. p. 356. ISBN 1852916656. 
  3. ^ "Player Profile – Tomasz Kuszczak". Premier League. Retrieved 9 January 2011. 
  4. ^ "West Brom bag keeper". BBC Sport. 14 July 2004. Retrieved 4 July 2007. 
  5. ^ "Man Utd clear up Kuszczak details". BBC Sport. 11 August 2006. Retrieved 11 August 2006. 
  6. ^ May, John (17 September 2006). "Man Utd 0–1 Arsenal". BBC Sport. Retrieved 17 September 2006. 
  7. ^ "Crewe 1–2 Man Utd (aet)". BBC Sport. 25 October 2006. Retrieved 25 October 2006. 
  8. ^ "Football shirt typos". The Guardian (London). 2 March 2009. Retrieved 2 March 2009. 
  9. ^ Bartram, Steve (2 July 2007). "Reds complete triple signing". Manchester United F.C. Retrieved 2 July 2007. 
  10. ^ Peace, Jeremy (14 September 2007). "WBA financial results". WBA.premiumtv.co.uk (West Bromwich Albion FC). Archived from the original on 17 January 2008. Retrieved 13 August 2008. 
  11. ^ McNulty, Phil (8 March 2008). "Man Utd 0–1 Portsmouth". BBC Sport. Retrieved 8 March 2008. 
  12. ^ Lamkin, Paul (15 September 2008). "Kuszczak signs new deal at Old Trafford". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 15 September 2008. 
  13. ^ "Manchester United goalkeeper Tomasz Kuszczak demands Old Trafford showdown over uncertain future". Daily Mail (London). 2 June 2009. 
  14. ^ "Fergie blocks Leeds' keeper bid". Sky Sports (BSkyB). 5 November 2011. Retrieved 1 June 2012. 
  15. ^ Marshall, Adam; Thompson, Gemma (3 February 2012). "Sir Alex explains GK call". Manchester United F.C. Retrieved 19 May 2012. 
  16. ^ Bartram, Steve (1 June 2012). "Kuszczak released by Reds". Manchester United F.C. Retrieved 1 June 2012. 
  17. ^ "Fergie relegated me! Kuszczak says he was 'price-tagged' out of the Premier League...". Daily Mirror. Retrieved 25 October 2012. 
  18. ^ "Albion sign Tomasz Kuszczak". Brighton & Hove Albion F.C. 19 June 2012. Retrieved 2012-06-19. 
  19. ^ "Kuszczak aims for the top". Brighton & Hove Albion F.C. 19 June 2012. Retrieved 2012-06-20. 
  20. ^ "Brighton: Tomasz Kuszczak among six released by Seagulls". BBC Sports. 14 May 2014. Retrieved 14 May 2014. 
  21. ^ Harasimowicz, Martin (31 May 2006). "Kuszczak defiant despite blunder". BBC Sport. Retrieved 4 July 2007. 
  22. ^ "Poland keeper Kuszczak out of European Championship". International Herald Tribune. 6 June 2008. Retrieved 4 July 2007. 
  23. ^ "Tomasz Kuszczak Soccerbase". Soccerbase.com. Retrieved 12 March 2014. 
  24. ^ "Tomasz Kuszczak". National Football Teams. Retrieved 9 January 2011. 
  25. ^ Bumper Go Figure: Season in Numbers, 12 May 2008, www.football365.com. Retrieved 29 August 2008.

External links[edit]