By JOE DANA
A BYU student from Szombathely, Hungary, followed his newly found faith and a soccer ball across the world.
Along the way, 26-year-old midfielder Miklos Kremser has climbed out of many pitfalls and achieved a rarity in sports: two national championships in two countries.
“I’ve had a very unique life in comparison to others who I’ve grown up with,” Kremser said.
Unique seems to underestimate the life of Kremser, an aspiring filmmaker and member of the BYU men’s soccer team. The events of his life in recent years has produced the plot of a movie that borders between inspiring and far-fetched.
“There’s something about him when you meet him. You can tell he’s seen and done things that most of us haven’t,” teammate Dave Vassilaros said.
In 1994 Kremser was playing for a semi-pro soccer team. At the same time, he was investigating the LDS Church, which changed his life and his soccer career.
“I was mocked and I had to decide who my real friends were,” Kremser said about joining the small, relatively new faith in Hungary.
His decision to be baptized into the church brought both trials and opportunities. Kremser decided to move to the states to study at BYU, which meant he would abandon soccer for the time being.
“I wanted to go to a place where there were other Mormons,” Kremser said.
Kremser said he went through a difficult and tiresome freshman year. By the end of Winter Semester 1996, he was out of money and back in Hungary. With the hope of recovering financially and returning to BYU, he returned to his passion and tried out for a professional soccer team.
“I had nothing else to do and, to my greatest surprise, I made the team,” Kremser said.
Kremser not only made the team, but he saw quality time on team Kormend, which won the Hungarian national championship in 1995.
Kremser re-entered BYU in 1996, when he tried out for the BYU men’s soccer team. Kremser landed a spot on an already nationally acclaimed program, where he helped the Cougars win the first of what would become three consecutive national championships.
Now in his senior year, Kremser is helping a young, potent team shoot for its fourth straight national club soccer title.
Coaches and players compliment his patented European finesse on the field.
“He’s a very smart player. He’s very relaxed and technically gifted,” head coach Chris Watkins said. “He’s the kind of guy that brings a smile to your face every time you see him. Those kind of people are valuable these days.”
Teammates also praise Kremser for his strong character.
“He adds an element of humility and maturity that a lot of us don’t have because he’s gone through so much,” Vassilaros said.
Junior midfielder Nate Lowe agreed.
“I’ve been associated with very high quality people on the soccer teams at BYU. But he stands out among even them,” Lowe said.
That influence is something Kremser said he hopes to carry into his occupation after school.
“I want to change the entertainment industry the best I can. I think there is a demand for good movies, contrary to common belief,” Kremser said.