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Konopka Loving Life in Ireland – Soccer365
April 8, 2008

Konopka – Loving Life in Ireland
by Andrew Rogers

Despite spending 2007 with the Kansas City Wizards in Major League Soccer, Chris Konopka knew his ambition was in Europe and the goalkeeper recently signed with Irish club Bohemians. He spoke with Soccer 365’s Andrew Rogers about the move to Ireland, differences between MLS and Europe, U.S. national team aspirations, and more…

Congratulation on your contract at Bohemians…

I’m pretty excited, the guys on the team are great and it’s good to be over here on a permanent basis.

Last time we spoke you were at Charlton, how did thing progress from there?

I was there for 10 days and showed well, but couldn’t do anything with the visa situation and obtaining my Polish passport. Getting granted citizenship has proved more difficult than we realized, there were documents that needed to be in place that we simply didn’t know about.

There were a number of clubs interested in me but it was on the basis that I had an EU passport. Right now I’m in Ireland though having signed with Bohemians, it’s a different scenario, the club have sorted everything out, and in the background the visa situation is being sorted.

In between you got drafted by Kansas City Wizards, what was it like in the MLS?

I loved it, I learnt a lot from Kevin Hartman and consider him a good friend. When it came to the end of the season I looked at the situation and realized I had my goals before Kansas even came in and that was to play in Europe. So I parted ways with Kansas, got my head down and tried my luck in Europe again, I tried out at Walsall but they had too many keepers. I heard about Bohemians, and they had put together a new coaching stuff, and invited me to pre season and I‘ve been here ever since.

How would you compare Europe to MLS?

Since training at Bohemians its been first class, the coaches are some of the best in the Irish national set up, it rivals what I’ve experienced anywhere. At Kansas they had 4 keepers stacked up so my chances were limited. Here though there were only two other goal keepers so there was a greater scope for me to progress. So I get a lot more attention and development, the MLS was top notch but because of where I am in my development I’m better suited to the Bohemian set up.

Given, you had tasted Europe already, is that what motivated you to seek further opportunities outside of MLS?

There were four other goalkeepers, I was doing a good job, but Kevin played every second of every game, Eric Kronberg is an established number 2 so you have to be realistic about your progression, Bohemians is the perfect opportunity for me to do that, with a good chance of becoming the first choice goalkeeper.

What’s life like in Dublin?

I love every minute of it, every ounce of it. I have moved in with 2 other players on the team, and our apartment is over looking the Irish Sea, as a Jersey Shore boy it doesn’t get any better. In Kansas I would look out and see corn fields so the views got a little better! The food is good and I have adjusted to the life well, I think in some ways despite being in the States while at Kansas I missed home more than I do here in Ireland.

Do you still have National Team ambitions?

Well the U-23’s qualified for the Olympics recently. I’m working my butt off at the moments and hopefully Coach Novak will get a chance to see me at some point. Right now I’m concentrating on my club and becoming a better goalkeeper. I know some of the guys on the squad and wish them very well whether I make the roster or not. Development is the most important thing right now and hopefully I’ll get that call at some point to go to a camp and show what I can do.

Has Peter Novak mentioned anything?

Well I guess I’m being considered in the goalkeeper pool, there are not too many of us in the age bracket, but its just one of those things, I’ll be keeping my head down so let’s see what happens.

Konopka – Loving Life in Ireland
2008-04-08 16:58:02
by Andrew Rogers

Andrew Rogers can be reached at