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Jersey Shore GK Selected For France Tournament – – Published March 23, 2004
March 23, 2004


Jersey Shore GK Selected For France Tournament


Jersey Shore Boca veteran goalkeeper Chris Konopka (Toms River, NJ) has been named to roster of the US Soccer U-19 Men’s Regional Olympic Development Team that will travel to France next month as announced today by the team’s coach Dean Foti.

Konopka is a freshman at NCAA Division I Providence College, a member of the Big-East Conference.

He is one of 18 top soccer standouts selected from 13 Northeast states that will represent the United States, US Soccer and Region I during this trip.

The US Soccer U-19 Regional team will depart from Philadelphia on April 4th for a ten day player development tour including participation in one of the world’s most competitive international tournaments, the “Tournoi International de Reze”.

Participation in this international soccer event will give the US Soccer National Coaching Staff another opportunity to evaluate some of the nation’s top young players in highly competitive conditions for possible selection to various United States National Team player pools.

Konopka is being considered as a possible candidate for the US Under-20 Men’s National Team player pool for 2004 and 2005.

This is the second time this year that the goalkeeper has been invited to attend a US Soccer identification event.

In January, Konopka participated in a week-long interregional competition with the Under-19 Region I team at the Home Depot Center in Carson, California.

The highlight of that event for the 6’ 4” goalkeeper was earning a 1-1 tie for his Region I team in a full ninety minute match against the United States U-20 Men’s National Team whose roster included Major League Soccer players Freddy Adu (DC United), Arturo Alvarez (San Jose Earthquakes) and Guillermo Gonzalez (LA Galaxy).

During that competition, the US U-20 Men’s National Team finished the event with an overall record of 2-0-1 with their only non-winning match coming at the hands of Konopka and the Region I U-19s.

“Chris is one of the better technical goalkeepers to ever come out of our Club. He has a very good understanding on how to play the keeper position and his size helps him be a dominant force inside his own penalty area” said Al Schwartz, the President of the Jersey Shore Boca Soccer Club.

“On behalf of all of our Directors, Coaches and Staff, I would like to congratulate Chris on his selection to the US Soccer Regional team for this trip to France and wish him the very best of success as he strives for selection to the Under 20 US National Team player pool” Schwartz concluded.

Upon arrival in France, Konopka and the US Regional team will spend their first four days in Paris while participating in daily training and fitness sessions.

The team will also compete in two international friendly games against top French clubs during their stay in the City of Lights.

On Thursday April 8th the US Regional team will travel to Reze, located on the west coast of France, with an evening training session planned in preparation for the tournament.

During the next three days of the tour, Konopka and his US Soccer teammates will square-off against some of the top young soccer talent in the world during the Reze tournament which will celebrate its 18th year of competition in 2004.

This year’s tournament field includes powerhouse developmental teams from Ajax (Holland), Real Sociedad (Spain), Boavista Porto (Portugal), 1860 Munich (Germany), RC Lens (France), Nantes (France) and the U-18 Nigerian National Team among others.

After the tournament, the team will return to Paris on April 12th for a day of sightseeing before returning home to the United States the following afternoon.

In addition to Foti, who is the head men’s soccer coach at Syracuse University, the coaching staff of the US Regional team traveling to France includes Tom Lang who holds the same position at Southern Connecticut State University.

In 2003 Konopka completed his first collegiate soccer season under Coach Chaka Daley at Providence.

He played in 5 games for the Friars while starting two and helped Providence advance over nationally ranked Virginia Tech to the semi-finals of the Big East Men’s Soccer Tournament for the first time since 1987.

The freshman keeper also helped Providence earn a 2-2 tie against then # 20 Brown University on October 14th playing the full 110 minutes of regulation and two overtime periods.

Konopka posted a 1.63 goals against average and 72.2% save percentage as a college freshman.

The standout goalkeeper is a 2003 Toms River East High School graduate and was a three year varsity starter for Coach John Crowley.

He was named one of the top 3 high school goalkeepers in New Jersey as a senior receiving All-American, All-State, All-Shore and All-County accolades.

Konopka is a long-time member of the Jersey Shore Boca soccer club.

He was a member of Boca’s 2003 Premiere Development League team and Boca’s Super Y-League teams in 2002 and 2001.

Konopka is an aspiring computer graphics and design major at Providence.

The complete US Soccer Region I U-19 Men’s Olympic Development Team Roster for the “Tournoi International de Reze”:

Frank Alesci – Ridgewood, NY
Aaron Bonser – Fairport, NY
Sam Brill – Newton, MA
Nicholas Colaluca – Coventry, RI
Richard Costanzo – Jefferson Hills, PA
Daniel DeMasters – Lititz, PA
Jamie Franks – Medford, NJ
David Fromayan – Bayshore, NY
Jarryd Goldberg – Basking Ridge, NJ
Stephen King – Medford, NJ
Chris Konopka – Toms River, NJ
Matthew Kontos – Hastings on Hudson, NY
Gabriel Ortega – Ozone Park, NY
Kevin Reiman – Yorktown Heights, NY
David Roman – Monroeville, NJ
Daniel Shapori – New Haven, CT
David Simolike – Philadelphia, PA
Mathew Valimont – Bedminister, PA

Coach – Dean Foti – Syracuse, NY
Coach – Tom Lang – Wallingford, CT
Administrator – Jerry Cannella – Jackson, NJ
Trainer – Charles Davis – Wallingford, CT

Published March 23, 2004