Jon Kempin the Future Goalkeeper for Sporting KC?


It appears that Jon Kempin may be the future goalkeeper for Sporting KC. On Tuesday Sporting KC released both Eric Kronberg and Andy Gruenebaum. However, it does not make Kempin the guaranteed starting goalkeeper going into the 2015 MLS season

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Kronberg, a longtime backup to Kevin Hartman and then Jimmy Nielsen, became the first choice goalkeeper this year after Nielsen announced his retirement. He was leading MLS in clean sheets with seven when he broke his left hand in a training accident in early July and never regained his form when he returned.

Head Coach Peter Vermes had this to say about Kronberg:

"“Kronberg’s been an incredible citizen here, with this club over the years. I have the utmost respect for the guy. It’s just that I think that this isn’t the place for him. Whatever he’s going to do, I think he needs a clean slate, and it’s not going to be here.”"

Gruenebaum, acquired in an off-season trade with Columbus, made 11 starts in two separate stints while Kronberg was hurt. But he also struggled with injuries, including a shoulder strain that forced Kempin into a starting role ahead of schedule.

Vermes had this to say about Gruenebaum:

"“Andy had two opportunities to take on the starting position, and both times he got injured. I need guys that are durable, guys that can last a long time, and unfortunately Andy’s had – not only with us, but also in his career with Columbus – he’s had quite a few injuries.”"

Vermes had this to say as well regarding the goalkeeping situation:

"“Obviously, we’re actively pursuing other opportunities with goalkeepers. That’s about all I’ll tell you. Obviously, at a minimum, we have to add two more. Both guys are great guys. It has nothing to do with personality. It’s just that – look, it didn’t end off the way any of us expected it to.”"

Kempin made four appearances with three starts this year for Sporting KC. He also made 13 appearances on loan with USL PRO affiliate Oklahoma City Energy FC. 

It seems a bit odd that they are willing to basically start over at the goalkeeper position. Kronberg has been with the club since 2006 and this was his year to shine. However it was not to be as injuries really set him back and he was fulling never able to recover.

I will be interested to see who Sporting KC brings in. After having solid goalkeepers in net for years, Sporting is now struggling to find one that make it through an entire season.

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