KURT KELLEY was born in Kansas City, Missouri, but he was first introduced to the game of soccer in Costa Rica by his grandfather, Don Jorge Pacheco, who was quite a player himself during his own time.
As a child, Kurt visited Costa Rica often, and it was there that he played street soccer with his cousins, uncles, and grandfather. According to Don Jorge, Kurt’s first steps as a toddler were straight to a soccer ball which he picked up and punted it ! Also Don Jorge used to take Kurt down to the Plaza Central in San Jose, Costa Rica to see all the old guys who were just having fun juggling tennis balls off their heads, knees, and feet hundreds and hundreds of times non stop.
Kurt began playing soccer in Costa Rica and as a matter of fact at the age of four (back in 1974) he told his mom that he was going to be a professional soccer player when he grew up. Before he was the age of six years old, thanks to Don Jorge, he could also head juggle and foot juggle with tennis balls. "How many American kids could do that back in 1976?" his grandfather would often proudly say.
KURT played in youth soccer leagues in both Costa Rica and the United States. In New York he played in the Cosmopolitan Junior Soccer League (CJSL) for both Blue-White Gottsche and the German Hungarian Soccer Clubs.
At the age of 17 years old he began his professional career playing soccer in Costa Rica's 2nd Division where he was the least scored on goalkeeper. Because Kurt had dual citizenship, he was invited to join the U-18 Costa Rican National Team. At the age of 18 Kurt made his debut in Costa Rica's prestigious 1st Division where he played for Deportivo Saprissa, not only one of Latin America’s but also CONCACAF'S most prestigious club teams. He played in Costa Rica's 1st division for nine seasons where he won 2 National Championships, 1 CONCACAF Championship, was goalkeeper of the week numerous times and was considered one of the best goalkeepers in CONCACAF. He was also invited to participate in South Korea's professional league, but in 1999, after many years of playing professional soccer abroad, he retired as a result of re-occurring injuries. During that time he returned to the United States, and he still played professional soccer in both the MLS and USL before pursuing his interests in the development of youth soccer players.