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Youth Boys May 13, 2016

Former EPL player Juergen Sommer to train Frederick, Md. youth players

By Sheldon Shealer

FREDERICK, Md. – Former professional player and U.S. Men’s National Team goalkeeper coach Juergen Sommer will be in Frederick on Monday, May 16, to work with local youth attending the Golden Mile Soccer Program and FC Frederick SKLZ sessions.

About 200 local players will have a chance to learn from the first American goalkeeper to ever play in the English Premier League. Sommer earned the distinction of becoming the first of what turned into several U.S.-born goalkeepers to make English Premier League rosters when he debuted with Queens Park Rangers in 1995. He wrapped up his professional career with the New England Revolution in 2002. Sommer made 10 appearances with the U.S. National Team between 1994 and 1998.

Sommer will work with players at the Golden Mile program at Hillcrest Elementary at 6:30 p.m., on Monday, before heading to Thomas Johnson Middle School for the SKLZ program.

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“To have Juergen visit with us is really special,” FC Frederick Executive Director Bo Eskay said. “Our first stop will be our Golden Mile program, which is a free, nationally recognized soccer experience for kids from Hillcrest and Waverly elementary schools. Then we’ll head to TJ Middle School for our SKLZ program.”

FC Frederick’s SKLZ program is designed to focus players’ attention on the importance of ball skills. According to Eskay, “SKLZ is a high energy technical training environment where kids get learn new tricks, work on their technique, and ultimately get hundreds of touches on the ball.”

Sommer, a 6-foot-5 goalkeeper, was a college walk-on at Indiana University and ultimately was named Collegiate Goalkeeper of the Year in 1990. He began his professional career with Luton Town in England before moving to Queens Park Rangers. He was a member of the U.S. National Team for the 1994 and 1998 World Cups.

Sommer’s visit to Frederick was facilitated by Frederick resident Cully Stimson, who was Sommer’s high school coach at the Culver Military Academy in Culver, Ind. Stimson serves as chairman of the U.S. Soccer Foundation, on which Sommer is a director.

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