Sunday, 30 November 2008

Mark Karpun 1983, 1984; 1983 (id), 1984 (id)

Mark Karpun was born June 12th, 1963 in Vancouver, Canada. He started playing soccer at the age of 5. His first real taste of glory was with the V.C. Travellers, winning the Province Championship at the age of 13. At 15, Mark travelled to Mexico with a team called the Warriers, and was a member of the first American or Canadian team to win the tournament in Mexico.
At the age of 17, Mark waived his last year of juvenile soccer to join the men's league and "improved his toughness." It must have helped, as he was spotted by pro scouts in his senior year, playing for the McNair High School team that made it to the Province Championship, and was drafted in the first round by the Calgary Boomers. He joined the team in June after high school graduation. He played on an amateur contract through the 1981 season.
When the Boomers folded at the end of the 1981 season, Mark went home to Vancouver and started working in a restaurant. From September 1981 to March 1982, he played little or no soccer.
Then, the Rowdies came calling. They invited him to a trialist camp in March, then extended a contract to play for the Rowdies II. He took it. So, he spent 1982 playing for the Rowdies II, in 12 games the lanky Canadian youngster scored 16 goals and assisted on 6 others for 38 points.
At the end of the 1982 season, the Rowdies sent him to Sao Paulo, Brazil with four other players. He trained there from mid-October to mid-December, then went home for Christmas. He signed his first pro contract, just weeks before the 1983-83 indoor season.
He scored his first indoor soccer goal at Reunion Arena, during a January 1983 exhibition against the Tulsa Roughnecks. He scored 11 goals in 11 indoor games and notched the game winner that made the Rowdies the Grand Prix Champions in Montreal. Made his first NASL outdoor start on July 13th, 1983 versus Team America, and scored the first goal in the Rowdies' 2-1 overtime victory. Started the next seven games, putting away 5 goals in 8 starts. Ended the season as the team's fifth leading scorer with 5 goals, 3 assists in 10 starts.
Appeared in 27 games during the 1983-84 indoor season, scoring 12 goals, 9 assists for 21 points. In the Rowdies final NASL season, Mark would appear in 14 games, scoring just 1 goal with 4 assists.
After the NASL folded, Mark signed as a Free Agent with the Dallas Sidekicks of the MISL, on October 3rd, 1984. He scored the first ever goal in Sidekicks history which was scored on October 19th, 1984 during an exhibition match with the Tacoma Stars at the Budweiser Classic in Wichita, Kansas. He scored the Sidekicks first Game Winning Goal on December 8th, 1984 against the New York Cosmos. Appeared in 46 games during the 1984-85 season, scoring 35 goals with 20 assists for 55 points.
He would remain with the Sidekicks until the 1989-90 season, in a Sidekicks career total of 248 games, he scored 146 goals and had 76 assists with a grand total of 222 points. He spent the 1989 outdoor season with the Vancouver '86ers.
Mark left the Sidekicks on September 4th, 1990. After coming to terms with the Sidekicks, he changed his mind and signed with the Tacoma Stars due a reduction in the salary cap for the 1990-91 season to be closer to his family. He played two seasons for the Stars (who folded in 1992).
Mark Karpun is said to be currently a firefighter in Delta, British Columbia.

1 comment:

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