The Full 90

Wizards sign Jon Kempin, first home grown player in team history

The Kansas City Wizards announced Tuesday that they have signed goalkeeper Jon Kempin as the first Home Grown Player in club history. Kempin, 17, is a product of the Wizards Juniors youth development academy. He was signed as a Generation Adidas player and is the youngest signing in team history.

“This is a great day for our organization,” Kansas City Wizards Manager Peter Vermes said. “We had the opportunity to identify a talented player in the area, bring him into the Juniors program and develop him to the point where we could sign him to a professional contract. Jon has incredible talent and now he has the opportunity to continue his development at a professional level and not have the pressure to perform on the field right away.”

Kempin, a Leawood resident, is an active member of the United States Under-18 National Team player pool, having twice been invited to the team’s training camps in 2010, and is considered one of the top young prospects at his position.

“This a dream come true,” Kempin said. “It’s an exciting time for the Wizards organization and I feel blessed to be the team’s first Home Grown Player. I’m also really looking forward to learning under Jimmy Nielsen. He’s had a great season and he’s definitely one of the top keepers in Major League Soccer.”

“Being a small-market team, we know how important player development is, and the Juniors are a key part of that," Kansas City Wizards President Robb Heineman said. "Jon has performed well coming up through our system, and we are excited to have him join the senior team as our first Home Grown Player.”

Kempin attends top-ranked Blue Valley North High School in Overland Park, Kansas where he recorded nine shutouts as a freshman, allowed only two goals, and won a state championship prior to entering the Under-17 Residency Program. He was named Gatorade’s Kansas State Player of the Year in February and was selected to Parade Magazine’s High School All-American Team in June.

Prior to joining the Kansas City Wizards Juniors academy, Kempin played club soccer for the KC Legends, Blue Valley Stars and KCFC Alliance club teams.

Kempin will not count against the 24-player roster and fills one of two roster spots available for Home Grown Players identified and developed by the club. Per team policy, details of the contract will not be disclosed.