Join Now | 
HomeAboutContact UsPrivacy & SecurityAdvertise
Soccer America DailySpecial EditionAround The NetSoccer Business InsiderCollege Soccer ReporterYouth Soccer ReporterSoccer on TVSoccer America Classifieds
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalkSoccer America ConfidentialYouth Soccer InsiderWorld Cup Watch
RSS FeedsArchivesManage SubscriptionsSubscribe
Order Current IssueSubscribeManage My SubscriptionRenew My SubscriptionGift Subscription
My AccountJoin Now
Tournament CalendarCamps & AcademiesSoccer GlossaryClassifieds
Shawn Kuykendall succumbs after courageous cancer fight
by Paul Kennedy, March 12th, 2014 4:52PM

MOST READ
TAGS:  college men, d.c. united, mls, obituary

MOST COMMENTED

[OBITUARY] Former D.C. United and New York Red Bulls midfielder Shawn Kuykendall died early Wednesday at the age of 32 from thymic cancer. His public fight with the rare and incurable form of cancer inspired many people in and outside the soccer community and drew support from MLS players, who wore "kuykenstrong" T-shirts prior to the 2013 All-Star Game against Roma.

Kuykendall followed in the footsteps of his father, Kurt, who played in the old NASL with the Washington Diplomats, New York Cosmos and Rochester Lancers, and played soccer at American University.

He played two games for D.C. United in 2005 but did not play a game for the Red Bulls after injuring his knee. He went into coaching and worked as the director of player development for Montgomery Soccer Inc.

In July 2013, he was diagnosed with Stage IV thymic cancer after a tumor was found in his chest. His fight with good humor and inspiration from prayer was chronicled by the Washington Post's Rick Maese. In the fall, he returned AU's practices and attended United matches but he was battling a form of cancer that had no known cure.



Kuykendall's father only discovered soccer while attending AU, but all five of the Kuykdenall children grew up playing soccer and went on to play Division I soccer -- Shawn and brothers Kris and JP (all American) and sisters Jamie (Jacksonville) and Sami (VCU).

The children were home-schooled by their mother, Sherry, and their father was self-employed as a real estate agent so the family spent lots of time together and was close-knit. Sherry told Maese a story of the time the Kuykendall boys went hunting.

“Shawn was standing on a fence. Kurt said, ‘Why don’t you jump on the donkey?’” Sherry recalled recently. “Shawn jumped on this wild donkey and then it started bucking and it threw him off. But he landed on his feet. He just had natural coordination. He was always very athletic.”

Shawn Kuykendall's story:



2 comments
  1. John Foust
    commented on: March 13, 2014 at 7:24 a.m.
    Shawn was an awesome young man and an inspiration to many. He will be missed. As he has said of his faith, "Live or die, I win." Shawn went out a winner, and into eternity with God the same. This is Heaven's gain.

  1. Sharon Bruno
    commented on: March 13, 2014 at 1:35 p.m.
    We walk with Faith by our side into the unknown, God Bless you Shawn. Forever in glory will you live, in our heart's you will remain.


Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Soccer America Daily
Where to Watch European Soccer    
Here are 329 places Soccer America readers recommend where you should go to watch soccer for ...
Mario Goetze's beautiful backward nutmeg on Brecko    
[VIDEO PICK: Skills] Mario Goetze, Germany's World Cup final hero, not only has a nose for ...
This season's most amazing free kick so far    
[VIDEO PICK: Golazo] You can hardly blame Hamburg SV goalkeeper Jaroslav Drobny for remaining rooted to ...
Soccer America Power Rankings    
[MLS: Week 29] Robbie Keane ran wild in the major-market matchup of Designated Players to keep ...
What They're Saying: Landon Donovan    
"I've always tried to be a guy who makes the right play in front of the ...
Onus on Cavani for PSG against Barcelona    
[UCL: Three Games to Watch] Paris St. Germain-Barcelona is the marquee match of Matchday 2 in ...
What They're Saying: Paul McGinley    
"I bounced ideas off him all week, he didn't preach to me, he didn't tell me ...
MLS's nouveau riche dominate millionaire club    
[MAKING A LIST] Big money has been flowing into Major League Soccer. Of the 15 players ...
USA and Brazil to play U-23 match in Brasilia    
[DATEBOOK] The U.S. World Cup team never got to Brasilia, falling in the round of 16 ...
Report: Chivas USA set to go on hiatus after 2014 season    
[MLS SPOTLIGHT] The news should come as no surprise. Chivas USA, sold back to MLS by ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives