Cal United Strikers Sign 15 year old Shane Kaemerle

Shane Kaemerle from Dana Point, CA
Published Feb 19, 2020

Written by: Carlos Funes

15 Year Old Shane Kaemerle Signs with Hometown Club California United Strikers FC

Just six months ago, Shane Kaemerle could be found playing in the U.S. Soccer Development Academy with the youth soccer club Strikers FC - Irvine. It was here that his talent would catch the eye of California United Strikers FC Head Coach Don Ebert and where his professional journey would begin.


From Left to Right: Shane at a young age playing for Strikers FC - Irvine, Shane with his teammates at Championship Stadium, Shane scoring a goal for Strikers FC - Irvine

Fast forward to present time and the 15-year-old attacking midfielder is on the field holding his own with the seasoned professionals of the California United Strikers team. They are in preparation for the 2020 National Independent Soccer Association (NISA) season, with high hopes of another championship. Kaemerle has just been given a professional contract and an opportunity to follow his dreams. Now, after spending six months of training with the team of pros, Kaemerle has shown that he certainly belongs among the best soccer products of Southern California. 


Shane practicing with Cal United Strikers during pre-season in January

Don Ebert agrees.

“The decision to sign Shane was based on his complete upside as a player. He's not even 16 but he has an absolute rock-solid pathway that he wants to pursue. It's rare to see a 15-year-old so focused and committed to what they already want to do and give up a lot of the luxuries that a lot of youth players want to have,” says Don Ebert. 

It is a mentality that is uncommon, but Kaemerle isn’t just your common, everyday soccer player.

Kaemerle has kicked off the beginning of his career on a strong note. So far, he has taken part in a closed-door preseason friendly match against the formidable USL Championship team, LA Galaxy 2. On a California United team that is filled with time-tested talent and with an experienced coaching staff, Kaemerle will be looking towards the leaders of the club for guidance to ensure his career trajectory continues on the right path.  

“Don invited me down and I started coming out. It was great - it was kind of hard when it first started, and getting used to the fast pace and speed and strength of everyone. But, it was good from the start,” says Kaemerle. “Everyone was cool, and they welcomed me in. It was a good experience for sure and I've gotten much more comfortable out there with every element.”

The professional contract comes with a big perk for the local kid - playing less than 20 miles away from his hometown of Dana Point, California. Kaemerle is Orange County through and through. He was born and raised in the beachside area of Dana Point and played all of his youth soccer in the soccer hotbed of Irvine. He will be representing this rising, talented club and placing his skills on display for all of Orange County to see at Championship Soccer Stadium.

“It means a lot to be able to play close to home and to be able to play live in front of my friends and family and I just want to thank Cal United for the opportunity,” said Kaemerle. “I’m looking forward to the whole professional experience like playing in front of the crowds, the big stadiums and at that level against the high competition.”

When you speak to him, he’s a smidge timid and soft-spoken but when you see him on the field, racing against professionals, you will see a completely different person. A confident, crafty Kaemerle is who you will find on the pitch - looking every bit of a professional. But being a professional, goes beyond the field. The development off the field is just as important as the on field product. 

This is where California United Strikers FC and their staff’s experiences come in. 

The involvement of club execs like California United Strikers FC President and U.S. Men’s National Team veteran Michael Collins will be essential in ensuring the teen’s start in the pros is calculated. Collins sees the potential in the 15-year-old’s present and future.

“Shane has exceptional talent and he has proven he can step up to the professional level. He will definitely be a player to keep an eye on this year, I have a very good feeling about his future,” said Collins. “Signing Shane is exactly what we are about here at California United Strikers FC. We want to develop young players and move them onto the top levels of soccer.”

Beyond the staff, Kaemerle has the backing of his team and veteran player Chris Klute. The support and guidance, from the locker room to the pitch, will be vital and have a profound influence on the teen. Klute, the 5 year Major League Soccer veteran, has seemingly recognized the important factor of developing a young player and made it a personal initiative to ensure Kaemerle receives the proper guidance. 

“When I found out at the beginning of the year that he was going to be signed with the team I was excited because for his age you can already tell there's a lot of potential and it's exciting for me to like try and help the development,” said Klute. “I know when you come into an older group of guys it can be a little overwhelming. I'm sure he has a lot of nerves and for me, the one thing you don't want to do is kind of bring his confidence down like immediately. I feel like this is the point in time to help him develop confidence and get comfortable - just trying to build a relationship with him early on.”

If you ask Kaemerle to name one player who has really taken him in with open arms, his answer will come without hesitation. Without surprise, it is Chris Klute.

“Definitely, Chris Klute, ‘Klutie’. He’s awesome and he's been really, really helpful this past month,” said Kaemerle. “He’s been giving me tips on everything, it’s cool.”


Left: Post practice during Pre-Season in January with Cal United Strikers. Right: Shane practicing with the rest of the Cal United Strikers professional players

With his hometown, Don Ebert, Michael Collins and a squad filled with veteran players to guide him - anything is possible for Kaemerle. The young prospect is in good hands and most importantly, his future is bright. 

“For me, he's one of the most talented young players I've come across,” says Ebert. “He has direct ambition, and we're going to help him get that ambition perfect.”

If there was a great time to start following Southern California’s young soccer talent, it would be now. Kaemerle has a lot to learn but his goals are set in stone. 

“Been dreaming of this my whole life and for it to finally come to this is crazy. I didn't really believe it when they first said it but now it's real and it’s amazing,” said Kaemerle. 

“I definitely want to do well this season and get playing time. My ultimate goal is definitely going to try and make it over to Europe and get to one of the top leagues over there.”