The distance from Bethlehem High School in Bardstown to St. Catharine College is about 17 miles. But for Boyzzz Khumalo, who is the new assistant men’s soccer coach for the Patriots, the journey was much longer.
Khumalo came to the United States from South Africa in 1996 at the age of 16. He played soccer at Bethlehem until his graduation in 2000. From there he attended Lindsey Wilson College for two years and Coastal Carolina for two years. While at Lindsey Wilson, Khumalo was a first team NAIA All-American as well as an All Mid-South Conference selection.
Following his college career, Khumalo was drafted by the Chicago Fire of the Major League Soccer (MLS). But he never played with Chicago and for a short time returned to play in South Africa. In 2008 he signed with DC United of the MLS where he was noted for his “speed, energy and unpredictability” in a Washington Post article. But a freak accident cut short his professional career.
“I broke my wrist in a game and it got infected because of a tattoo I had just gotten on that arm,” explained Khumalo. “It was scary. I thought my arm may have to come off.”
While his arm was saved, his MLS days were over when DCU released him last July. He was on the sideline some last fall with St. Catharine head coach Tim Wolz and also coached at Mockingbird Valley Soccer in Louisville.
“From the players I saw last year and from what I have heard about the new players coming in I think we will be much better,” said Khumalo of the 2011 Patriots. “Of course the goal is to improve every year and we should do that.”
Wolz, entering his second season at St. Catharine, believes his new assistant will be an integral part of that improvement. “As a volunteer assistant last year I saw how well he interacted with the players,” said Wolz. “He is very good at communicating his ideas and his competitiveness as a player is something the players can benefit from. This will be a good partnership in that he can learn things from me as well as I can learn things from him.”