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
Mulroy departs NASL runner-up Ft. Lauderdale Strikers    
Tommy Mulroy, the longtime soccer promoter, is out as the president of the NASL Ft. Lauderdale ...
Business Reporter: adidas to open store in Orlando stadium    
MLS sponsor adidas will operate the league's first in-stadium store starting in 2016 with the opening ...
Three takeaways from Manchester City-Bayern Munich     
The Champions League actually includes runners-up and third- and fourth-place finishers, but this Group E game ...
Marshall becomes first three-time top MLS defender    
In his first season with the Seattle Sounders, Chad Marshall has been named the MLS Defender ...
Copa America: Brazil and Colombia will meet again    
Brazil and Colombia, which faced each other in a hotly contested quarterfinal match at the 2014 ...
Referees grab the spotlight in MLS playoffs    
If the goal of a referee is to go unnoticed, the two referees in Sunday's MLS ...
What They're Saying: Sigi Schmid    
"I thought we benefited a little bit [from Stott's decisions]. In most games, I think that ...
U.S. Youth Soccer ODP Girls Interregional rosters    
The five-day U.S. Youth Soccer ODP Girls Thanksgiving Interregional began Monday at Spanish River Athletic Park ...
Video Pick: Rimando eyes third straight save award    
Real Salt Lake's Nick Rimando will become the first three-time MLS Save of the Year winner ...
Video Pick: MLS's 'best' Golazos, but no Cubo     
Fine goals from Will Johnson, Lee Nguyen, Obafemi Martins and Thierry Henry comprise the finalists for ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives