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College Crowd: Haydu has an attitude coaches love in a player – Asbury Park Press
September 4, 2004

College Crowd: Haydu has an attitude coaches love in a player

Published in the Asbury Park Press 9/04/04

Off the field, soccer coach Walt Konopka knows it’s a privilege for anyone who comes across Danny Haydu.

But if you come across him on the field, get out of his way.

Konopka, who has been coaching Jersey Shore Boca soccer for the last five years and Haydu for the last three, said the 6-foot-2, 190-pound sweeper has a dual personality.

“Off the field, he’s the kindest, most mature young man you’ll come across,” Konopka said, “but on the field, he’s one of the toughest people out there. He’ll go after any ball and will make it very difficult for the other team.”

And Haydu, an 18-year-old Toms River resident and Toms River High School East graduate, agrees.

“I’m not nearly the same person when I get on a soccer field,” Haydu said. “When I get out there, it’s like I just let everything hang out.”

With the conclusion of his latest season for the Boca U23 men’s team, Haydu is now ready to take that attitude to the next level.

Haydu was first noticed by college scouts two years ago during the Raleigh Shootout in North Carolina. They were soon asking, “Who is this kid and why haven’t we heard of him,” Konopka said.

Although Haydu said he was being recruited by several colleges, including the University of Massachusetts and Long Island University, he ultimately chose Monmouth because of its steadily improving soccer program.

“For me, it came down to the fact that it was a program that had the potential to be built on in the next four years,” Haydu said. “Everything seemed right about the school especially its attitude toward soccer.”

Haydu is now looking forward to playing against several fellow Boca players on a collegiate level, including forward Joe Cutler. Cutler of Stafford will be entering his first season for Rider University. The two will square off on Sept. 22 when Rider plays at Monmouth.

“Of course, there’s a lot of trash talking going on between us,” Haydu said. “We all want to be the best players, but I know that we all want each other to have great seasons too.”