A 12-year veteran goalkeeper, Luis Marin arrived in Kansas City in January, ready to embark on an MLS career.
Four months later, that experiment is over.
Sporting Kansas City and Marin mutually agreed to terminate his MLS contract, the club announced Wednesday. In a corresponding move, Sporting KC recalled homegrown keeper Jon Kempin from his loan with the San Antonio Scorpions.
Sporting KC coach Peter Vermes said Marin approached him after Saturday night’s match in Seattle about returning home to Chile, his native country, to address a family issue.
“He came to me and asked if I could understand that he has to move on because he needs to take care of something with his family, and he can’t do it here in the United States; he has to be in Chile,” Vermes said. “I have to respect situations like that, and I did. That’s it. There’s really nothing else to it.”
Marin, 32, started the first eight matches for Sporting KC this season — compiling a 2-2-4 record — but he lost his starting gig to Tim Melia and did not play in the past four matches.
After a stretch of three shutouts in four matches, Marin’s final two appearances included six goals from the opposition. He was benched after a 4-4 draw with Houston, allowing Melia a chance to take over the No. 1 job.
Melia ran with it.
In his first start, he posted a clean sheet in a 1-0 victory against the Chicago Fire — his first career MLS win. Over four appearances, he has allowed only three goals while recording seven saves.
He’s yet to lose, either. Melia has a 2-0-2 record this season.
“We’re great. I don’t have any concern at all,” Vermes said. “I think Tim is in good form.”
Melia will be backed up by Kempin, 22, who started two matches in his loan with San Antonio. He allowed five goals during two losses.
Vermes said he hopes to get Kempin a start during the U.S. Open Cup tournament next month.
“It depends on how we’re going, how our rhythm is and all those things,” Vermes said. “It’s not like Tim’s been playing a boatload of games, so him playing some more games isn’t a bad thing, either.