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Feb. 28, 2023

Kickers Countdown #16 Peter Luzak

Kickers Countdown #16 Peter Luzak

16- Peter Luzak

We’ve been on a bit of a defense streak in the countdown, and that continues with our next entry.  A standout for six seasons at the start of the new millennium, Peter Luzak provided a physical presence on the backline for the early Leigh Cowlishaw teams that were consistently competing for trophies in the A-League and USL1 era. His career was highlighted not only with team honors, but also with a first team all-League selection in 2004 and a call-up to the US National Team.  For his contributions to the club, Peter was voted the #16 Kicker of all-time.

Luzak is from the greater Philadelphia area, where he won a state championship in high school in 1995.  Following his high school career, he enrolled at the University of Richmond, playing alongside future Kicker player and coach Adrian Clewlow.  During his time as a Spider, Luzak excelled as a midfielder, earning all-CAA honors and helping the team to the NCAA tournament. His accomplishments caught the eye of the Kickers, who selected him 14th overall in the A-League college draft.

In his first season for the Kickers, Luzak primarily featured as a key reserve, but made a major impact off the bench.  Playing 27 times, with 22 as a substitute, he still contributed a career high 5 goals as the Kickers finished 5th overall in the league and made a run to the quarterfinals of the US Open Cup.  Peter shifted into a primarily starting role the following season, getting 24 starts en route to a regular season championship for Richmond.  Thereafter, he was a locked in starter for the next four seasons as a center back as the team continued to vie for championships.  On an individual level, Luzak was named to the 2004 A-League First Team.  

In addition to his accomplishments in Richmond, Peter was nearly in the spotlight for what would have been a high profile opportunity.  In early 2005, the US National Team was on strike, and with World Cup Qualifying coming, the coaching staff had to find a solution.  A group of A-League stars were called in to prepare to play at Trinidad and Tobago.  This group included Luzak.  Unfortunately for Peter, the labor disagreement was settled prior to the game and the A-Leaguers were sent home. Still, what a story!

After the 2005 season, which ended with the Kickers losing the USL-1 final in penalties to Seattle, Luzak chose to retire.  He played 156 times for Richmond and was a constant for the A-League era teams. Following his retirement, he returned to the Philadelphia area where he has worked in financial services ever since.  He has remained involved in youth soccer with the Greater Chester Valley Soccer Association, and has continued to play in adult leagues.