San Diego Loyal had a familiar face playing goalkeeper on Saturday, June 11 at Torero Stadium in the team’s 3-0 victory over Hartford Athletic, the great Jon Kempin.
Kempin, who was acquired on loan on June 9 from DC United of Major League Soccer, is a name that needs no introduction to any San Diego Loyal fan having played with the team during its inaugural season.
“It’s great to be back home. I take a lot of pride in wearing the San Diego Loyal crest,” said Kempin. “I’ve been following the team as a super fan ever since the end of 2020.”
During his first stint with San Diego Loyal, Kempin started 11 matches and recorded five shutouts finishing within .04 of the eventual Golden Glove award winner, Danny Vitiello, for best save percentage among USL Championship goalkeepers. The 29-year-old goalkeeper is tied for the best goals-against average in USL Championship history with his 0.5 per game, which is now improved after the 3-0 shutout on Saturday.
“Landon (Donovan), Nate Miller, Matt Hall and Tim Daniels have been very supportive of me over the past few years and I’m excited to be playing under them again,” Kempin added. “I am also really excited to be back with the guys again from 2020. It’s like getting the band back together.”
Kempin, who has played two matches so far this season for DC United, started his professional career at 17-years-old when he signed with Sporting Kansas City (formerly the Kansas City Wizards) as their first homegrown in club history on Aug. 30, 2010. He would spend the first seven years of his career in Kansas City, which included a number of loan spells to United Soccer League sides early on.
Kempin made four appearances (three starts) in 2014 and recorded three starts in 2015, allowing 12 total goals in total before being traded to LA Galaxy just prior to the 2017 season. After playing with the Galaxy’s reserve team, Kempin eventually stepped into the starting role in Los Angeles, making seven starts that year, which included two shutouts.
Following the 2017 season, he was again traded, this time to the Columbus Crew, where he was the backup to starter Zack Steffen and made five appearances, all starts, in his first season.
“I will do my best to make the fans proud while I am here and I hope to help build on the success that the team has already had in 2022,” said Kempin.
Photo courtesy: San Diego Loyal