Columbus Crew SC Acquires Goalkeeper Jon Kempin
“Jon is a promising young goalkeeper with proven experience in the league and U.S. youth national teams,” Crew SC sporting director and head coach Gregg Berhalter said in a team release. “He has a good reputation for his work ethic, competitiveness and contributions in the locker room. We are happy to welcome Jon to Columbus and continue his development.”
The 24-year-old Kempin was one of the first Homegrown Players in league history when he signed with Sporting KC in 2010 at the age of 17. But over the next seven seasons, he made just seven appearances with the first team. Most of his time was spent on loan in USL and NASL. Between 2013-16, he appeared in 34 games with teams such as Orlando City (before their move to MLS), the San Antonio Scorpions, OKC Energy and Swope Park Rangers.
SKC sent Kempin to the Galaxy ahead of the 2017 season. It was there where he saw his most extensive action in MLS. Kempin started seven games, posted two shutouts and averaged slightly under four saves per game. He also played six games on loan for LA Galaxy II where he recorded a further two clean sheets in addition to 32 saves.
The move comes after Columbus declined the contract options on their two backup goalkeepers last season, Brad Stuver and Logan Ketterer. Neither saw any first team minutes with number one keeper Zack Steffen making starts in every single game across all competitions.
Along with his club career, Kempin has also represented the United States at various age levels. He has five caps combined for the U.S. U-18, U-20 and U-23 teams, including a start in a friendly against Brazil on November 11, 2015. He also received a call-up to then senior team coach Jurgen Klinsmann’s that January.
Expectations for Kempin
After the club parted ways with Stuver and Ketterer, Columbus certainly was in the market for a backup behind Steffen. Enter Kempin, who played the most MLS minutes of his career in 2017 for a Galaxy team that struggled for any consistency at the position. Advanced stats site Whoscored.com actually gave Kempin the highest rating among the three Galaxy netminders who saw action in 2017. Though it’s unlikely he’ll see much action with Crew SC given Steffen’s unquestioned status as the incumbent starter, Kempin’s presence certainly bolsters the squad’s goalkeeper depth.