Jon Kempin, Sporting KC’s third-string ‘keeper that was forced into first-team action vs. Vancouver, has been nominated for MLS Week 22 Save of the Week.
Watch the video of all nominees (Kempin’s save is at 0:46)
The main argument against Kempin is that the game was 2-0 and already out of SKC’s hands. Well, if you look at the other saves only one happens in a tie game.
That save belongs to Sounders’ Stephen Frei’s penalty save against Dynamo’s Brad Davis. If you haven’t already, skip forward to the 0:30 mark to watch it. You’ll see that the save was less due to Frei’s reflexes than it was Davis’ awful stutter-step shot (why people keep trying to get this move to work, I will never know.)
Additionally, none of the nominees are in the situation that Kempin was in. He’s spent a majority of his season playing for Jimmy Nielsen and USL Pro squad Oklahoma City Energy FC, which lay in the third-tier of the American soccer pyramid. With the majority of the team seemingly taking the White Caps game off, it would’ve been equally as easy for Kempin to say “Ah, forget it. It’s not even my fault Mattocks is taking a PK here, plus nobody else is trying. I’m just gonna stick my hands out, maybe leap to look like I tried…” but instead, he came out and made a statement that he belongs on the Sporting first-team.
Which is good news, because Kempin will be starting in the meantime while G-Baum is out for at least a week.
Go out and vote for Kempin! Voting ends at 1:59 a.m. CT. Results are announced sometime tomorrow.