Former American University and D.C. United midfielder Shawn Kuykendall died Wednesday after a yearlong battle with thymic cancer. He was 32.
D.C. United selected Kuykendall in the fourth round of the MLS Supplemental Draft in 2005. He made his MLS debut with the team later that year, playing in two games, and was on the New York Red Bulls’ roster in 2006.
Kuykendall joined the Eagles coaching staff as a volunteer assistant in 2010 and was promoted to assistant coach for the 2011 and 2012 seasons.
West and his coaching staff rallied behind Kuykendall, shaving their heads for “Shawn Kuykendall Day,” and Kuykendall continued to be engaged and involved with the AU soccer program despite the personal setbacks he endured.
The Kuykendall family has a rich history at American University. Shawn’s father Kurt was an All-American goalkeeper for the Eagles in 1973, and was inducted into the American University’s Stafford H. “Pop” Cassell Hall of Fame in 1996.
Kuykendall finished his career ranked second in AU history in assists (29) and seventh in goals (23). Along with the all-time accolades, Kuykendall is the only Eagle to be named Patriot League Offensive Player of the Year, as he won the award in 2004.