Dan Antoniuk returns to San Diego Sockers after stint in Vietnam
After a brief stint in Vietnam, #19 returned to the San Diego Sockers’ roster just in time to join the team as they traveled to Stockton Thursday, Jan. 28, where the Sockers won their third straight game this season against the Profession Arena Soccer League reigning champs, the California Cougars.
Dan “Dizzy” Antoniuk was released from his contract with the Sockers to allow him to pursue what sounded like a great opportunity but ended up nothing like he had imagined.
“It was cool to come over here, but the lifestyle wasn’t what I wanted at this point in my life. It made me realize all the things I love about San Diego,” Antoniuk said.
In an e-mail to the team informing them he was coming back, Antoniuk remarked, “The level of play actually isn’t that bad. I saw a game and it was high quality but I didn’t feel the daily training was serious.”
And he just couldn’t seem to get American fast food off his mind.
The Sockers welcome Antoniuk back to the team in time for their next home game on Feb. 26 against Revolucion Tijuana.
Head Coach, Phil Salvagio, and team mates met Antoniuk at the San Diego airport where he touched down straight from Vietnam and took off again two hours later to face Stockton with the team.
“I didn’t feel that tired and actually felt confident. I wanted to play,” Antoniuk said. And play he did — the entire game.
“We talked the whole way to Stockton, Dan is 100 percent committed to San Diego with one goal in mind, bring home the championship!” Salvagio had nothing but good things to say about his 6-foot-2 defender.
A veteran Sockers’ player, the Philadelphia native spent the early years of his life on the soccer field and is still just as passionate about the sport as when he first started playing. As part of club teams and his high school soccer team, Antoniuk got his first big break at Wheaton College, in 1999, where he still holds the school record for career goals (54) and points (144) and was a 1999 third team All American.
After graduating with a degree in economics, Dan signed a two-year deal with the Portland Timbers of the USL A-League/First Division in 2003. With the Timbers, he scored thirteen goals in twenty-four games.
After a stint with the Milwaukee Waves, he joined the San Diego Sockers for the 2003-2004 Season and then returned to his hometown to play on the Philadelphia KiXX.
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