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Kasey Keller Day

Kasey Keller Day

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Published by Ryan Sales
Keller is finishing his third year with the Sounders. Their third year in existence. He has been the team Captain from the Sounders franchise start. A soccer icon Seattle has always wanted. 63,000 will take part in his retirement ceremony. Leaving no less than what all sports in America needs. An example of hard work, leadership, and desire to win no matter what is at stake.
Keller is finishing his third year with the Sounders. Their third year in existence. He has been the team Captain from the Sounders franchise start. A soccer icon Seattle has always wanted. 63,000 will take part in his retirement ceremony. Leaving no less than what all sports in America needs. An example of hard work, leadership, and desire to win no matter what is at stake.

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Published by: Ryan Sales on Oct 17, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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10/17/2011

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10/15/11By Ryan Sales © 2011 Sales on SoundersVisit:
I’m not exactly 100% sure what the time line was. I was graduating from high schooland still kind of selfish. Arguing with my dad occasionally about work, money, and other priorities. You know, Stuff. I got a scholarship to study Theatre at the University of Utah. My dad drove me from Seattle and dropped me off in Salt Lake City. I don’t recallmuch road-trip conversation about soccer.Somewhere in between graduating, relocating to Utah, and showing my dad I can makeit in the world, I heard about this other kid. Same age, from Olympia, Washington. AGoal Keeper to watch. Youth with promise. That sort of thing.No doubt, it was not much longer after that I started reading about him occasionally inthe Seattle Times.
 
Keller lifting Cascadia Cup 2011
My soccer career, as for playing, had already ended. When I entered high school, Iwent straight for varsity Cross-Country, and made the cut. Bicycling, running, violin,and theatre were everything to me. Soccer had fallen off the shelf. That and the factour high school forwards looked something out of the German National Team youthsystem. My 5′-8″ frame was small. Height was too much a priority for soccer at thattime. Maradona was considered a one of a kind phenom, and Messi wasn’t on thescene yet.Sounders players Osvaldo Alonso, Michael Fucito, and James Riley will inspire anentire new generation of soccer-kids whose skill attributes, like agility, endurance, andconsistency will matter more than height. It pleases me to know that the nextgeneration of soccer players will have a more equitable variance in size.As a senior in high school, my friend, Dawn Schuller nudged me into co-coaching a 9-year old girls, first year soccer team. I found enough inspiration in that experience toconsider dropping college and only coaching soccer. I couldn’t see the future in that.So, I went to college to study theatre and become an actor.Kasey Keller’s name didn’t make many waves in theatre circles. In between a theatreconservatory-esque regime of classes; movement, voice, and theatre history, therewasn’t much room for soccer.Being the sports-0-phile I’ve always been, I knew who he was and continued to followhis rise up the ladder of the US National Team.Most people will tell you about Keller’s Gold Cup victory over Brazil with the US NationalTeam in 1998. Not me. In 1998 Keller summoned up a remarkable 10 saveperformance against Romario led Brazil. After an impressive multi-save sequence,Romario smiled, turned to Keller and shook his hand. A stunning 1-nil win over theBeautiful Game’s greatest nation. Good stuff, but for me the story to tell is Fulham’shistoric 2007 “Relegation Battle”. This is not to overlook how cool Keller is for living withhis family in a castle in Germany, receiving an invitation to dine from the King of Spain,and playing soccer in England.Kasey Keller fights for every game no matter what is at stake. In 2006 he was part of the US squad that fizzled disappointingly at the World Cup. Afterword Keller went toFulham in the English Premier League. Fulham fell disappointingly near the bottom of the league in Spring 2007. It looked as if they were headed for relegation. HIs move toFulham appeared a possible last stop in his career. The relegation battle included twoSeattle area Keepers dualing to keep their clubs above the relegation line. MarcusHahnemann with Reading, and Keller with Fulham.
 
Height takes a back seat to Osvaldo Alonso's 2 goals vs Comunicaciones in CCL
It’s difficult to describe what happened next. There is no US equivalent. We measuresports teams success by what they do at the top of the table. Bottom table teams justhold out for draft choices to help rebuild. In soccer leagues around the world, there isno less glory at the top of the table. But the place settings are few and the guest listdoesn’t change much.At the end of each season three teams at the bottom of the table are relegated to theleague below. Three teams at the top of the table from the league below are promotedabove. Relegation battles draw crowds, cameras, and conversation no different fromwhat makes the sweet-sixteen so special. Keller dug in, and Fulham planted a historicsurvival flag. They stayed in England’s Premiership, their top-flight league. A battle thatwent to the last match of 2007. It could have been a fitting end to Keller’s career, but heheard the Sounders calling.Sometimes heroes hear their calling. I’ve struggled with following my own passions.How to make them part of my life in a way that earns a living. At a young age Keller heard his calling to be a professional athlete and stayed true to that path. So, when theSounders called it was no surprise that the US International Soccer hero jumped backacross the pond to make his last professional stop at home.

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