There’s An American Goalkeeper In The German 2nd Division With Balls Of Steel

Kenneth Kronholm is like the love child of Manuel Neuer and Alisson.

Did you know there’s a 33-year-old American playing goalkeeper in the 2. Bundesliga? I did not, but I’m starting to connect the dots. That man is Kenneth Kronholm, born in Fort Belvoir, Virginia, and he’s a certified mad lad.

He’s been bouncing around the lower divisions of Germany since 2005 after failing to make the grade at Wolfsburg. His nomadic journey includes 12 different clubs in the space of 10 years, as well as an unsuccessful two-month trial with the Seattle Sounders in 2010, but he’s found a home with Holstein Kiel.

Kronholm was the club’s starting goalkeeper during its promotion season from the third to the second division in 20016-17, and then he was again the club’s No.1 during a run to the promotion playoffs last campaign. However, Kiel was defeated by Wolfsburg, so the club remained in Germany’s second division this season.

After 22 matches, Kiel is in seventh but only three points behind FC Köln in third, the spot which qualifies for the promotion playoffs. And you know damn well Kronholm is playing his part. 

Back on Feb. 10, Kronholm was involved in Kiel’s only goal in a 1-1 draw with FC Magdeburg. The keeper’s contribution? A Zidane Turn right in front of his own goal to start the buildup. It’s an amazing team goal. 

But then last Sunday, Kronholm was again heavily involved in a goal in Kiel’s 2-2 draw with Fürth. This is not as pretty.

With the scores level at 1-1 in the 84th minute, Kronholm played sweeper keeper on a ball over the top and won possession, but then he committed a spectacularly stupid error to keep the ball in play. 

Take nothing from the finish by Marco Caligiuri; it's really quite good.  

Fortunately for Kronholm and Kiel, Hauke Wahl would score an equalizer in the 94th minute. 

That’s your introduction to Kronholm, a man rumored to be on the radar of the Chicago Fire. And here’s him making a nice save. 

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