Dream come true: Clearwater Catholic star comes home to the Rowdies
Local soccer star Kyle Curinga, 23, joins the Rowdies’ 2018 team after playing in Finland and Utah. A graduate of Clearwater Central Catholic High School and Times’ All County Player, he is thrilled to be with his dream team, the Rowdies, who kicked off their 2018 season at Al Lang Field on March 24th.
“It’s a dream to sign for your hometown club,” Curinga said. “I’m really looking forward to the 2018 season and proving my worth with this historic club. I can’t wait to play in front of these fans, especially Ralph’s Mob.”
Curinga is excited to be back at the beach. “The journey has been a little wild. After Florida Atlantic University, I played in Finland for GBK Kokkola and FF Jaro the first three years, then Utah and now back here,” says Curinga. “The Rowdies have always been a goal I wanted to check off and playing at home in front of friends and family for a team of this stature is exciting.”
Look for big things from this young and promising defender. In two seasons with GBK in 2014 and 2015, he made 50 appearances and scored four goals. He trained with the Rowdies last winter and played as a trialist in the 2017 Florida Cup before ultimately signing with the Real Monarchs SLC in the USL.
“Kyle is a player that we had here with us last pre-season and we were really impressed with him,” Rowdies Head Coach Stuart Campbell said. “He had a great season in the USL last year and we’re excited to bring him home with the Rowdies.He’s at the right age to really kick on and take the next step in his career.”
Curinga is truly a local boy. Both his parents were born and raised in Pinellas County and went to the same high school. He has an older sister an and 11-year old brother who wants to follow in his fancy footsteps. A boat-load of classmates and friends will be cheering him on and his girlfriend will be watching from Finland, there in spirit.
One of the best parts for Curinga is playing with soccer legends and being mentored by his teammates, especially Joe Cole, Neill Collins, Marcel Schäfer and Georgi Hristov. “I like to bounce ideas off them, ask them how I can make a play better and get their advice,” says Curinga, who also credits club coach Hans Burt and his high school coach Jim Harte for inspiring him.
What’s a typical day for a Rowdies player like Curinga? “Waking up with a good breakfast like a bowl of oatmeal and berries and peanut butter and honey and maybe avocado toast. Take a bath to loosen my muscles, then head off to training after stretching and foam rolling and other exercises.” As a new St. Pete resident, Curinga likes to grab a bite at Locale or Bodega.
“Downtown has changed a lot in ten years,” he says laughing. Curinga’s laid-back Florida demeanor and laser focus is sure to make him a fan favorite. He’s a cheerleader for the Rowdies franchise and their approach. “We’re family-friendly and affordable fun. Come on out and wear your green and gold!”
Tampa Bay Rowdies tickets: 727-222-2000 www.rowdiessoccer.com