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Former Toronto FC goalie Milos Kocic returns to Toronto to set up academy

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TORONTO - Milos Kocic, who spent three seasons with Toronto FC, is back in town looking to show off his goalkeeping skills.

But this time the five-year MLS veteran will be doing it at his own goalkeeping academy.

After spending last season with the Portland Timbers, Kocic has elected to return to Toronto and focus on his new soccer school, the Milos Kocic Goalkeeping Academy (www.milosgoalkeeping.com).

In his role as goalie guru, he hopes to provide the kind of additional coaching that will help kids flourish at their club teams and move them up the soccer ladder.

The 28-year-old Kocic plans to work with seven-year-olds on up with courses for under-10, under-14, under-17, and 17 and over.

He had offers to play from the Timbers and other teams but elected to return to Toronto with wife Evelyn and their 16-month triplets.

"My wife is happy here, her family is here, I feel happy in Toronto and I want my kids to be here," Kocic said.

The Serbian-born Kocic hopes to get his Canadian citizenship down the line.

"It's a great country, it's a great city. That's why I want to stay here."

Kocic has plenty of experience to draw on from his own career.

He represented Serbia and Montenegro at the under-19 and under-21 level before heading to the U.S. on a scholarship to first St. John's and then Loyola College in Baltimore.

Kocic was drafted 21st overall in the 2009 MLS SuperDraft by D.C. United before joining Toronto FC one season later.

In 2012, he recorded career highs on games played (27), minutes played (2,430), saves (82) and shutouts (3) in his third season with Toronto.

Kocic was also one of the more open, thoughtful TFC players although a 5-21-8 season in 2012 eventually took a toll on his willingness to share.

While Kocic says he is "99 per cent" retired, he has left the door open to a possible return to the game.

His goals include developing the goalkeeping academy into a full soccer school with organized tournaments, using his contacts to get scouts to see the talent on display and help his players secure scholarships or tryouts.

Helping Canadian soccer is also a big part of that dream.

His future plans involving getting licensed as a player agent as well as pursuing coaching badges.

Kocic believe his life experience go hand in hand with his soccer skills and will benefit him as a coach,

"Being a starter, being a backup, being the third-string — I've been everything," he said. "So I know how to deal with every single situation in the goalkeeping mind and I know how to teach the kids how to do it.

"I know the right way."

Follow @NeilMDavidson on Twitter.

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