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.