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
Jones and Vanney are pivotal figures for midweek matches    
[MLS PREVIEW: Week 26] Two vital Eastern Conference games and a seemingly cushy road date for ...
Czech Republic-USA Gameday Guide    
[INTERNATIONAL FRIENDLY] The USA kicks off a new era when it faces the Czech Republic Wednesday ...
Four international friendlies to watch    
[DATEBOOK] FIFA has scrapped the August friendly, but international action returns early in September with games ...
Top scorer Gallardo joins residency program    
[USA UNDER-17 MEN] There are plenty of changes in the U.S. under-17 residency program as nine ...
Trio joins team at Buenos Aires training camp    
[USA UNDER-20 MEN] U.S. under-20 men's national team head coach Tab Ramos brought in Columbus Crew ...
Scorpions unveil plans for Toyota Field expansion    
[MLS EXPANSION] The NASL's San Antonio Scorpions released plans for doubling the capacity of Toyota Field, ...
Keane nutmegs and scores with sweet chip    
[VIDEO PICK: MLS Goals of the Week] Robbie Keane nutmegged a defender then chipped the goalkeeper ...
What They're Saying: Jurgen Klinsmann    
"Canada, Honduras, Costa Rica, Mexico, whoever plays in MLS, the foreign guys, they all go. But ...
What They're Saying: Jurgen Klinsmann    
"That he's made some statements that he's not content, sees it differently, that's legitimate and that's ...
Regional championship kicks off in Washington    
[COPA CENTROAMERICANA] Such is the drawing power of Central American teams that Uncaf, the governing body ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives