Konrad, Kalman : Jews In Sports @ Virtual Museum

Konrad, Kalman

Konrad, an outside right, was one of the best players in Hungary in the 1910s, and played on the Hungarian National team with his brother, Jeno Konrad. Kalman, who later played for Austria, coached the Romanian National team for five games in the mid-1930s. In 1999, he was listed by World Soccer as one of the 100 greatest players of all-time.

Birth and Death Dates:
b. May 23, 1896 - d. May 10, 1980

Career Highlights:
Born in Backa Palanka, a small village on the Danube River in what was the Hapsberg Empire (and is now Serbia), Konrad moved to Budapest as a small child. He joined the club MTK in 1910 at the age of 14 and then joined the first team in the Hungarian League in 1913 at the age of 17. Konrad played for MTK Budapest from 1913-1919 and helped the team win the Hungarian Championship in 1914, 1917-1919 (there was no league in 1915 or 1916 because of World War II). In the three championship seasons between 1917-1919, MTK outscored their opponents, 376-46, and had an overall record of 60-4-2. Kalman played in 94 games during this incredible run and scored 88 goals while a player for MTK. He was also a member of the National team, appeared in 12 games and scored two goals.

In August 1926, Kalman was brought to the United States by Nat Agar, the owner-manager of the Brooklyn Wanderers of the ASL (American Soccer League). Kalman's talent was so legendary, that Agar was forced to keep the transfer a secret until he was on his way to the U.S. That year, Konrad played for Brooklyn and appeared in 27 games and scored two goals. That season, he also played in the ISL (International Soccer League), a new league of American and Canadian teams. The Wanderers of the ASL participated and won the league championship with a 5-3-1 record. Konrad scored four goals while playing in every game.

After his only season in the United States, Konrad returned to Hungary and ended his playing career with MTK during the 1927-28 season. He then became a world-renowned coach and led powerful clubs such as Bayern Munich, FC Zurich, and Slavia Prague. Konrad also coached a number of teams in Sweden, where he settled and lived until his death in 1980.

Backa Palanka, Serbia

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encyclopedia of JEWS in sports, by Bernard Postal, Jesse Silver, and Roy Silver (New York: Bloch Publishing Co., 1965)
From the Ghetto to the Games: Jewish Athletes in Hungary, by Andrew Handler (Boulder, Colorado: East European Monographs, 1985)
The American Soccer League, 1921-1931: The Golden Years of American Soccer, by Colin Jose (Lanham, Maryland: Scarecrow Press, 1998)

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