The Daily Pennsylvanian is a student-run nonprofit.

Please support us by disabling your ad blocker on our site.

Junior forward Stas Korzeniowski was recently drafted in the second round of the MLS draft. Credit: Ana Glassman

Junior forward Stas Korzeniowski has been a model of consistency and durability in his three years as a member of the Penn men's soccer team. Since joining the team as a freshman, he has not missed a single game — playing in all 50 possible matches in each of the past three seasons. The junior forward’s consecutive game streak looked to be in jeopardy after fracturing his wrist on Sep. 12 against Rider, just over a week before starting Ivy League play. 

“I know some people look at it and might say, well, it’s not your legs or anything … but wearing the cast for three months, having to protect it day in and day out, every training — it was a big inconvenience,” Korzeniowski said. “It was definitely hard. I feel like I did well with what I could, but it was a limiting factor. I think as much as it sucked I did well with it.”

Korzeniowski’s feelings are certainly supported by his performance this season, which culminated in him being drafted in the second round of the MLS SuperDraft by the Philadelphia Union. 

Korzeniowski’s career began in a reserve role, where he garnered All-Ivy recognition as a freshman and earned a spot in the starting lineup for his sophomore year. But Korzeniowski had his eyes on a bigger prize than just a starting role.

“A lot of the work [between my freshman and sophomore year] was just acclimating to the college game,” Korzeniowski said. “After a great spring and a strong summer, I came into the sophomore season feeling very prepared and motivated.”

Korzeniowski's sophomore season was a dominant one, as he would finish the season with 11 goals and seven assists, making him the first Quaker in over 25 years to reach double digits in that category. His pivotal role in leading Penn to the first of two consecutive regular season Ivy titles and to the second round of the NCAA tournament earned him Ivy League Offensive Player of the Year honors and second-team All American recognition.

The 2022 second-team All American now joins a Union squad that is searching for its first MLS Cup, after falling just short in each of its past two seasons. Korzeniowski's staggering 6-foot-4, 193-pound frame adds size to the Philadelphia front.

Hailing from Skillman, N.J., the Union was the closest club team to Korzeniowski growing up. He remained a hometown kid when he committed to Penn, which is just an hour away from his childhood home. And now, he will remain close by as he enters the professional world.

“The nature of the draft is that it’s kind of unpredictable … staying close to home is really nice,” Korzeniowski said. “Philadelphia is a great and established MLS program with rich history and an incredible fan base that I’ve had exposure to during my time in Philly, so I’m just really happy about it.”

While playing in the MLS is a massive step in any American soccer player’s career, Korzeniowski is no stranger to professional soccer. This past summer, he played for Ballard FC in Seattle, a member of USL League Two, where he won the national championship and scored a decisive goal in the 2-1 victory. 

“Seattle was incredible,” Korzeniowski said. “It was one of the best soccer playing experiences I’ve had in my career. The fan base, the support, the team, everything altogether it was an incredible experience that I’ll forever be grateful for. I don’t think I would have the strides in my development or even in my profile if it hadn’t been for Ballard and having the season I did out there.”

His journey in the MLS has yet to truly begin since Korzeniowski has not yet officially signed with the Union, but he still is grateful for the opportunities that are to come. 

“I’m ecstatic about this opportunity. I owe a lot of things to the people around me who make it possible, which includes my parents, coaches, and then of course the team that helps me day in and day out. I’m really grateful for being surrounded with an incredible group of guys for the past couple of years to have made it happen and pushed me into this direction,” Korzeniowski.

Fulfilling a childhood dream was always in the cards for Korzeniowksi, but now, it will become reality when he first touches the pitch at Subaru Park.