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panoramix
07-27-05, 09:11 AM
Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Less than two months after his high school graduation, Fabrice Noel
has made his Major League Soccer debut, playing 29 minutes in the
Colorado Rapids' 2-1 loss to the San Jose Earthquakes on Wednesday.

Noel, 20, entered the game in the 61st minute and unleashed his first
professional shot - which missed - three minutes later.

He did not play in the Rapids' 4-1 win against the Chicago Fire on
Saturday. The team does not play again until Aug. 6, after the MLS
All-Star break.

"For a guy from the development squad, after only a couple of weeks,
to make his debut, is incredible," said Rapids spokesman Jurgen
Mainka. "(Rapids coach) Fernando (Clavijo) sees something different
and special in him when it comes to the offense. In that game, even
though we lost, he changed a lot of the dynamics."

Noel was a two-time Palm Beach Post player of the year and was named
Florida's Mr. Soccer this year. He started training with the Rapids
in March and signed a developmental contract with the team June 24,
about a month after his graduation from Palm Beach Lakes High.

Noel has been separated from his family in Haiti since November 2002,
when his two older brothers were murdered. He was granted political
asylum in June 2004, and last month received his green card.

Eric Cheromcka, an assistant coach at Palm Beach Lakes, said Noel's
parents and younger brother, Jackson, should receive their Haitian
passports this week and will attempt to get visas to join Noel in the
United States.

"That is the tricky part," Cheromcka said.