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Transfers must be given release before exit

Published: July 15, 2011
It isn’t you, it’s me … I just feel like I want to pursue other opportunities … I’m not happy here.

In many ways, a player transfer is just like any other breakup. You substitute a significant other for a college program and it all starts to sound the same. It begins when one party – or both – is unfulfilled – and inevitably ends with “the talk.”

Kovi Konowiecki knows all about “the talk.” The talented midfielder began his college career last season with St. John’s(m) before transferring to Wake Forest for this fall season.

Before Konowiecki could pursue tantalizing possibilities with his new sweetheart, the Demon Deacons, he had to be up front and explain to the St. John’s brass that he was moving on.  

mens college soccer player victor munozVictor Munoz
“It’s not necessarily easy telling someone you don’t want to be at their program anymore but you have to be honest and do it in order to get your release,” Konowiecki said.

The release was amicably granted and Konowiecki will now go about his business of developing his soccer career. A former NSCAA All-American, and player who spent two years at Germany’s 1860 Munich, Konowiecki’s reason for departing was simple.

“For me, the biggest thing was my aspiration to be a professional soccer player,” he said. “I wanted to go to a place where I knew I would be in a professional environment and get better every day. Wake Forest demands that of their players.”

But like every relationship, every transfer is different.

Kayla Bala wasn’t thinking about the professional ranks when she transferred from Florida to South Florida. For her, it all came down to location and playing time.

“I felt too far away from home in Gainesville and I wasn’t getting good playing time,” Bala explained. “I explained to my coach that I wasn’t happy and wanted to go somewhere I had a better chance of playing, and she actually said she would do the same thing if she were me.”

Bala’s approach is the only one for a player looking to move on to a new program. A player must be given a release by their current school before they are permitted to explore a new fit.

Bala’s new-found freedom allowed her to find USF, where she has been refreshed during her semester there.

“I’m so much happier, I love it and I love playing soccer again,” Bala said. “USF is just 40 minutes from my hometown and all the girls here have been so welcoming and really made the transition easy for me.”

If you want to talk about a transition, Victor Munoz has gone from his homeland Spain, to Iona College and now to the UCLA Bruins.

Munoz is one of the many key men’s transfers who could factor this fall along with players like Louisville’s Patrick Huang, and Greg Cochrane as well as Cal Poly’s Dakota Collins.

Munoz, too, would like to become a pro and he liked the pros that the Bruins’ program offered.

“I wanted to play at the highest level of college soccer,” he said. “UCLA is a great program with great players that forces me to improve everyday. I felt it was the right decision for me.”
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