Kai Velmer of Pinellas County United has been coaching at the club level since he was a teenager
Director of Soccer Operations
Velmer moved with his family from his native Germany to the Tampa Bay area when he was 10, importing his passion for soccer. Velmer had been visiting Florida with family regularly as he grew up, so culture shock wasn’t much of an issue despite the overseas change of address. He attended Tarpon Springs High School about 30 miles northwest of Tampa and was a soccer player until an injury to his left knee and the resulting surgery derailed his playing career and put him on a coaching track. “I remember having my knee surgery on my 18th birthday,” Velmer said. “Having major knee surgery back then wasn’t like it is now. I went straight from being a player to being done.” Well, not quite done. Velmer latched on as an assistant coach to a local club team coached by his brother. “The only reason I wanted to coach back then was it gave me an opportunity to still play around a little.” Velmer has been embedded in club soccer in the Tampa Bay area ever since his days as a teenage coach. He spent a decade helping run the Oldsmar Soccer Club, and he spent five years as an assistant coach and goalkeeper trainer for the University of Tampa women's soccer program.
Velmer helped move Pinellas County United onto the SportsEngine platform more than a year ago. “I’ve been dealing with some different platforms for a while, you name it, and this is the best we’ve used,” he said. “It’s pretty easy.” Velmer has been helping create the club’s registrations, and he ensures information on upcoming camps and clinics is posted in the homepage’s News Slideshow page element. He also writes about new staff members and other news items. He oversaw the migration of the About Us landing page, which pays homage to the origins of Pinellas County United from its days as the Azalea Youth Soccer League.
Velmer is in charge of ensuring all the club’s sponsors get the digital exposure they paid for, and 13 of them appear on the homepage.
Front and center in the Goalkeeper Training section of the site is a bio on Rachel Velmer, the club’s goalkeeper trainer who happens to be Kai's wife. The Velmers live in St. Petersburg, where they are are raising their two children, ages 2 and 4.