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First ever SKNFA Goalkeeping Course kicked off on Wednesday

BASSETERRE St. Kitts- (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Grafer) Paul Grafer (born August 7, 1974 in Port Washington, New York) is a retired American goalkeeper who spent five seasons in Major League Soccer with the Colorado Rapids and MetroStars. He is currently the goalkeeper coach for the United States U-17 men’s national soccer team.

In February 1996, the Colorado Rapids selected Grafer in the 2nd round (19th overall) of the 1996 MLS College Draft. The Rapids sent him on loan to the Long Island Rough Riders of the USISL for the 1996 season. In 1997, made Rapids first team, playing thirteen games, gaining only one win, in 1997 and 1998. On September 30, 1998, he broke his left wrist in practice. The Rapids waived him on October 30, 1998. He signed with the Charleston Battery on January 28, 1999, but suffered a major neck injury during the pre-season and lost the entire year. Instead, he spent the entire year coaching with the Williamsburg Soccer Club. In 2000, he signed with the Long Island Rough Riders, having an excellent season. That resulted in him being called up to the MetroStars in 2000 after starter Mike Ammann was injured and backup Tim Howard was playing in the Olympics. In one of the odder moments in MLS history, the league held a draft consisting of only one player, Paul Grafer, after he signed late with the MetroStars. The San Jose Earthquakes selected him Grafer, then traded him back to the MetroStars for Ramiro Corrales on February 23, 2001. He retired following the 2003 season. In 2005, he returned with the RoughRiders. He played nineteen games and was named second team All League.He earned an MBA and taught at Adelphi. In 2007, he became the goalkeeper coach for the U.S. U-17 national team.

Paul Grafer, now FIFA instructor is now in St. Kitts currently sharing his wealth of knowledge with our past, present and future goalkeepers. The opening ceremony held on Wednesday 31st January at the Football House featured remarks by the Minister with responsibility for Sports, Hon. Glen Phillip, President of the SKNFA Mr. Anthony Johnson and Mr. Grafer himself.

Participants hailing from the the different clubs under the SKNFA’s umbrella will be treated to five (5) days of detailed theoretical and practical sessions. Goalkeepers from Female teams, Premier teams, Division I teams, Junior League teams as well as past goalkeeping fraternities were urged to take this training seriously. Our goalkeepers’ futures are looking much brighter based on the turnout at the event.

We wish our goalkeepers the very best in this endeavour.

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