A defender that spent the past three Major League Soccer seasons with Kansas City Wizards (now Sporting Kansas City), Jonathan Leathers joined Whitecaps FC after being selected in the ninth round (18th overall) of the 2010 MLS Expansion Draft. The native of Athens, Georgia, has appeared for the United States U-23 Olympic team during his career.
MAJOR LEAGUE SOCCER
Selected in the second round (25th overall) of the 2008 MLS SuperDraft, Leathers started 12 of his 15 appearances during his rookie season with Kansas City, having become a fixture at right fullback during the latter part of the season. Leathers also appeared in both legs of the MLS Eastern Conference playoff semifinals on Nov. 1 and 8, as the Wizards fell 3-1 on aggregate to Columbus Crew. The defender also started in all three of Kansas City's Lamar Hunt US Open Cup matches, as the Wizards reached the quarterfinals before falling to then United Soccer Leagues First Division club Seattle Sounders. 2009: The defender started 10 of his 11 appearances during his second season with Kansas City, with the Wizards missing out on a spot in the MLS Cup Playoffs that season. Leathers also made two appearances for Kansas City in Group B of the North American SuperLiga competition that year, as well as appearances in the third round and quarterfinals of the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup. 2010: Leathers started three of eight appearances in his third season with Kansas City, having earned his first MLS point in the Wizards' regular season finale, as he assisted on the first of Birahim Diop's three goals during a 4-1 home win over San Jose Earthquakes on Oct. 23. The defender also appeared in Kansas City's 2-1 qualification semifinal defeat at home to MLS rivals Colorado Rapids in the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup on Apr. 13. On Nov. 24, Whitecaps FC acquired the defender during the 2010 MLS Expansion Draft.
MAJOR LEAGUE SOCCER RESERVE DIVISION
2008: During his rookie season with Kansas City, Leathers made five appearances for the Wizards reserve team, with the defender scoring a match-winning goal that year.
UNITED SOCCER LEAGUES PREMIER DEVELOPMENT LEAGUE
2005: Playing the first of three seasons in the PDL, Leathers made 11 appearances for Eastern Conference, Mid Atlantic Division side Augusta Fireball United. 2006: With Augusta, Leathers appeared in all but one of the Fireball's 16 regular season matches in the PDL's Southern Conference, South Atlantic Division. The defender also started the Southern Conference playoff semifinal defeat at Laredo Heat on July 28. 2007: Leathers was named to the PDL's All-Southern Conference Team after making 13 appearances for Atlanta Silverbacks U-23's that season. The defender also recorded an assist in a 1-0 victory at Nashville Metros on July 14.
Leathers enjoyed a highly productive NCAA Division I career with Furman University in Greenville, South Carolina, having served as team captain of the Paladins. 2004: As a freshman, the defender was one of only four players to play in and start every match for the Paladins that season. Leathers' efforts earned him a spot on the All-Southern Conference Second Team. 2005: As a sophomore, Leathers started all 20 of Furman's matches that season, with the defender being named to the to the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) All-South Region Third Team and the All-Southern Conference First Team. 2006: As a junior, Leathers was named Furman's Male Athlete of the Year, the team's Most Valuable Player, and Southern Conference Player of the Year after leading the Paladins' backline to a conference-best 10 shutouts and a 0.77 goals-against average. He made the NSCAA All-South Region First Team, while he also earned a spot in the All-Southern Conference First Team for a second straight year. 2007: The defender's senior year saw Leathers named Furman Male Athlete of the Year for a second straight time, while he also earned NSCAA All-American Second Team honours and a spot on the All-Southern Conference First Team for a third straight year.
U-23: In May 2008, Leathers made two appearances for the United States U-23 Olympic team at the Toulon International Tournament in Toulon, France, after being selected in a 22-player squad by then head coach Peter Nowak, who is now in charge at MLS club Philadelphia Union. Playing in Group B, the defender started the 3-2 defeat to Turkey on May 21, 2008, before starting the 2-0 defeat to Italy on May 25, 2008. The Americans finished bottom of Group B after three straight defeats in the tournament.
Leathers had a successful youth career with Concorde Fire Soccer Club in Atlanta, Georgia. He guided the Fire to three Georgia state championship titles, three regional championships, and a 2002 United States Youth Soccer National Championship title, where he scored the match-winning goal in the championship game. Leathers was also a member of the Georgia state and US Youth Soccer Region III Olympic Development Program teams.
Leathers was born and raised in Athens, Georgia. His parents are Vera and Lee Leathers. After attending Prince Avenue Christian School in Athens, Georgia, the defender majored in business administration at Furman University.
A devout Christian, Leathers made the Southern Conference’s academic honour roll as a student at Furman University. A natural leader, he also served time as a member of the National Beta Club in the United States. He also ran track & field, as well as cross-country, with distinction at Prince Avenue Christian School. Leathers' many off-the-pitch pursuits include reading, rock climbing/repelling, following the stock market, snowboarding, watching movies, tinkering with his iPhone, and playing Battleship on the computer.