KCW Juniors goalkeeper Jonathan Kempin has been selected as one of 40 participants for the fall semester at the United States Under-17 Residency Program in Bradenton, Fla. Kempin, 16, was a member of the inaugural KCW Juniors U-15 team last season and has participated in previous youth national team camps for the United States. He is the first member of the Juniors program to join the U.S. Residency Program. The players will be competing for a place on the U.S. team that will attempt to qualify for its 14th consecutive FIFA Under-17 World Cup in April or May, when the qualifying tournament will be held in Mexico. Dates and venues for that tournament will be announced at a later date.
"It is an honor and a privilege to represent your country," Wizards Technical Director Peter Vermes said. "Jonathan's participation and development in the KCW Juniors program allowed him to be seen by the U.S. National Team coaching staff. He will receive an excellent daily training regiment that will help him continue to develop. Because of his involvement with the KCW Juniors program, we will follow Jonathan's progress in the game closely, and we wish him the best of luck."
"We are pleased to send Jonathan to the U.S. U-17 Residency Program in Bradenton," KCW Juniors Director of Coaching Jon Parry said. "We had a very successful first season, and sending one of our players to the U-17 national team program is an appropriate conclusion. Our main goal is to develop talented soccer players, and Jonathan's talents are being recognized by a lot of people throughout the soccer community."
Kempin is a native of Leawood, Kan and previously attended Blue Valley North High School. As part of the program, U.S. players live on campus at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla., and train in the morning under the guidance of Wilmer Cabrera and assistant coaches Keith Fulk, Paul Caffrey and Paul Grafer. In the afternoon, the players attend classes at Edison Academy. While in the full-time residency program, the U.S. not only trains daily under Cabrera, but also has access to the IMG Academy's spacious facilities. The team regularly uses IMG's state-of-the-art strength-training facilities, as well as some of the nation's best sports psychologists that work at the Academy. The IMG Academy includes top-of-the-line soccer equipment, three Bermuda grass fields, an indoor dome with artificial turf, two swimming pools, newly renovated student housing and dining facilities.
Since its inception, 170 players have been through the full-time Residency Program, and more than 60 of those players have moved on to Major League Soccer, or the professional leagues in Europe. Fifteen players have also registered at least one cap with the full MNT: Freddy Adu, DaMarcus Beasley, Kyle Beckerman, Michael Bradley, Landon Donovan, Bobby Convey, Eddie Johnson, Justin Mapp, Oguchi Onyewu, Santino Quaranta, Chad Marshall, Eddie Gaven, Jonathan Spector, Heath Pearce and Josmer Altidore. For more information on the program, visit http://www.ussoccer.com/