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31 for 31: The rise and fall of Luis Marin

Luis Marin appeared to be the answer to Sporting KC's goalkeeper struggles in 2014. By June 2015, he was no longer with the team.

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

In the month of December, The Blue Testament is going to look at 31 different storylines that defined soccer in Kansas City during 2015. From the good, the bad and even the ugly, each day during the month will have a different narrative we look back on.

On Dec. 17, 2014, it was reported that Sporting KC were signing two players: Chilean goalkeeper Luis Marin and Hungarian forward Krisztian Nemeth. Little was known about Nemeth except that he had experience in Liverpool's youth system. Marin was more established and apparently had the seal of approval from former Sporting KC captain and keeper Jimmy Nielsen.

Sporting KC had a rough 2014 between the sticks. Eric Kronberg was unable to live up to the expectations set by his predecessor, Andy Gruenebaum was not in the same form as his 2012 Goalkeeper of the Year finalist season, and Jon Kempin was still too young and inexperienced. Priority number one for Sporting KC in the 2014-15 offseason was finding a starting keeper that would stretch the gap from the current until Kempin.

Marin appeared to be that man. He had been on Chile's 2010 World Cup team and came in with the expectation that he would be solid and consistent. Tim Melia was signed as his backup and Jon Kempin was sent to San Antonio. It appeared Sporting KC's keeper situation was solidified.

That never came to fruition, however. Marin was poor catching crosses, came off his line too often and was not in good position to make saves. had his average rating at 6.54, good for 33rd out of 44 keepers who saw time this season. For comparison, Tim Melia had an average rating of 7.01, which was sixth in the league and second among regular starters.

In eight appearances, Marin gave up 13 goals, including a four-goal drubbing at the hands of the Houston Dynamo in April. This was Marin's last appearance for Sporting KC, and for good reason.

Following that match, Tim Melia was named starter and went on to have a spectacular season for Sporting KC. Marin backed him up for four games before being released on May 27.

He asked to be released, citing family issues and being homesick. The reasons for leaving were noble, but his time in Kansas City rose and fell so dramatically that it was a very tumultuous tenure with the club. When he was signed, if someone said that Melia would be the starting keeper, and one of the best in the league, by the end of the season with Marin not even on the team anymore, no one would believe them. Considering how well Melia played, in a very unexpected manner, it was easy to forget about Marin but his tenure in Kansas City was certainly one of the bigger storylines of 2015.