Word has reached us here at Tanner Ba’ World Headquarters that New Jersey native Chris Konopka is currently on trial at Victoria Park!
With first choice goalkeeper Scott Fox sidelined for many weeks to come and back-up Gary Woods taking over County were left with only reserve team keeper Mark Foden for coverage in two recent matches. Jim McIntyre knows enough to know that a better option is needed going forward and in all likelihood sees Konopka as a short term signing- at least for the moment.
Konopka, 30, has played his entire career in Ireland (Sporting Fingal, Bohemians, Waterford United and Major League Soccer (SKC, NYRB, Philadelphia Union, Toronto FC) and does not have to worry about the usual international clearance hassles because he holds both U.S. and Polish citizenship.
At 6’5″ tall it will come as no surprise that the goalkeeper excelled at both soccer and basketball in high school before moving on Providence College where he focused on soccer. Konopka’s play at Providence seemed to have him headed for a Championship side in England, but his various trial stints came to naught as he had not yet obtained his Polish passport.
Konopka was eventually drafted by Kansas City in the 2007 MLS SuperDraft but was released at the end of the season without having played in a league match. Passports in hand, he headed for Ireland where he played for three different clubs, seeing the most minutes at Waterford United.
Upon returning to the U.S. and to Major League Soccer Konopka bounced around again, mostly playing in preseason, cup, and friendly matches for Columbus, New York, and Philadelphia, before serving at Toronto FC’s starting goalkeeper for much of the 2015 season, setting several club records along the way.
Good luck to Konopka, he’d be a great addition to the club on and off the pitch!