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Kasey C. Keller (born November 29, 1969) is an American former soccer player who played professionally in Europe and the United States, as well as being the starting goalkeeper for the U.S. national team. He is a four-time FIFA World Cup participant and was the first American goalkeeper to become a regular in the German Bundesliga, the English Premier League, and the Spanish La Liga.
Keller training with Borussia Mönchengladbach in 2007.
|Full name||Kasey C. Keller|
|Date of birth||November 29, 1969|
|Place of birth||Olympia, Washington, United States|
|Height||6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)|
|2004||→ Southampton (loan)||4||(0)|
|2009–2011||Seattle Sounders FC||93||(0)|
|1989||United States U20||6||(0)|
|1996||United States Olympic||3||(0)|
|2013||United States U20 (assistant)|
|2013||United States (assistant)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only|
He now works as the Sounders' color commentator in local broadcasts, and assistant coach for Newport High School Boys Soccer in Bellevue, Washington.
Keller was born in Olympia, Washington. He attended North Thurston High School and played college soccer at the University of Portland under Clive Charles. As a freshman in 1988, he helped lead the team to the NCAA men's soccer final four. He earned first team All American as a senior and was the 1991 Adidas Goalkeeper of the Year. During the 1989 college off-season, he played for the Portland Timbers of the Western Soccer Alliance. His outstanding play led to his selection as league MVP that year. In 10 games, he allowed only four goals for a 0.38 goals-against-average and eight clean sheets.
In 1989, he split his time between the Portland Timbers and the U.S. U-20 national team which finished fourth at the 1989 FIFA U-20 World Cup. Keller once again excelled and was awarded the tournament's Silver Ball as the tournament's second best player.
After being a member of the U.S. National Team in the 1990 FIFA World Cup, he was signed by the English club Millwall, playing there and becoming a fan favorite between 1992 and 1996. Keller made his Millwall debut on May 2, 1992 and played his last game on May 5, 1996, making 202 overall appearances for The Lions. Keller was voted Player of The Year 1992–93 by the Lions fans and also picked up the Junior Lions and Disabled Millwall Fans' awards. When Millwall were relegated to the Second Division, the team transferred Keller to Leicester City for £900,000 on August 15, 1996.
In his first year with Leicester City, Keller played a vital part in the team's success in both a strong league position and winning the 1997 League Cup. The team reached the final again in 1999; a last minute goal lost them the match. That summer, he left the club for Spain on a free transfer.
Keller signed with the newly promoted Spanish club Rayo Vallecano for the 1999–2000 season and played there for two years.
In August 2001, Keller returned to England and the Premier League, joining Tottenham Hotspur on a free transfer. Relegated to backup duty for Neil Sullivan early on, he won the starting spot, and played every minute for Spurs in both the 2002–03 and the 2003–04 seasons.
In the 2004–05 Premiership season, Keller fell out of favor at Tottenham, as Paul Robinson became the first choice keeper. In November 2004, Kasey was loaned out to Southampton, a Premiership club ravaged by injuries to its goalkeepers, for one month.
On January 15, 2005, Keller joined German Bundesliga side Borussia Mönchengladbach on a free transfer during the Bundesliga's winter break. He got off to a good start in the Bundesliga, keeping a clean sheet in his first appearance for Borussia. Keller played every minute in the second half of the season and kept a total of seven clean sheets in that period, playing an important role in saving the club from relegation.
Keller also lived in Haus Donk, a castle in Tönisvorst, near Mönchengladbach. During the 2006–07 season he was one of the two Bundesliga players to be hobby-columnists for RUND, a German soccer magazine published once each month, reflecting his life in Germany and his Bundesliga career within those lines. He shared that role with VfB Stuttgart's shot-stopper Timo Hildebrand.
On August 10, 2006 Keller was selected by his teammates to captain club side Borussia Mönchengladbach during the 2006–07 campaign. He is the second American (after Claudio Reyna) to captain a top level German club.
In August 2007, Keller returned to the Premier League, signing for Fulham. The length of Keller's contract and financial details were not disclosed by the club. He was bought as a back-up to goalkeeper Antti Niemi, but nagging injuries to Niemi saw him take over as principal goalkeeper at Fulham. However, the day before the Premier League match against Derby County in October, Keller injured his arm in training and was on the sidelines until late January. He returned as a substitute keeper in the 2–1 win over Aston Villa on February 3. From then on he was only second choice until Fulham's match against Blackburn where he started the game, with Niemi on the bench. He then went on to start Fulham's remaining games as they defied all odds and avoided relegation on the last day of the season with a 1–0 win over Portsmouth at Fratton Park.
Seattle Sounders FCEdit
On August 14, 2008, Keller returned to the United States to sign with 2009 MLS expansion team Seattle Sounders FC. He was the starting goalkeeper for the MLS team's first-ever match, on March 19, 2009, which the Sounders won 3–0. He continued to have a clean sheet in each of his next three starts, with a score of 2–0 per start. He also set the record for most minutes without a goal to start a season in MLS history. His clean sheet streak came to an end on May 2, 2009 at 457 minutes in the second half of a game against the Chicago Fire. Keller played his final regular season home game for the Sounders on October 15, 2011, a game in which the Sounders beat the San Jose Earthquakes 2–1 with goals from Sammy Ochoa and Fredy Montero to send Keller out in style. A record crowd of 64,140 people were present.
After being ignored by U.S. coach Bora Milutinović for the 1994 FIFA World Cup, he made Steve Sampson's ill-fated squad in 1998, and played two games at the World Cup. Keller was an overage selection for the 1996 Olympics team, starting all three matches.
Kasey was named U.S. Soccer Athlete of the Year in 1997 and 1999, and again in 2005.
Perhaps his most famous clean sheet came in the historic 1998 win versus Brazil. Keller played all 90 minutes in goal and made ten saves, many from point blank range, in preserving the 1–0 shutout victory for the U.S. His performance in goal prompted Brazilian great Romário to remark "That is the best performance by a goalkeeper I have ever seen," the performance was commemorated in the song "Kasey Keller" by synth-pop band Barcelona.
For most of their careers, Keller and Brad Friedel were engaged in a head to head battle for the U.S. goalkeeper's jersey. Keller got the nod in 1998 but was second choice to Friedel in the 2002 FIFA World Cup. In spite of this stiff competition he has the second most caps and wins of any men's goalkeeper in U.S. soccer history with 102 and 53 respectively, behind current star Tim Howard. Keller remains the team's all-time leader in keeping clean sheets with 47.
Keller crowned the U.S.'s run in the 2005 CONCACAF Gold Cup tournament with a clean sheet in the final match against Panama and two saves in the penalty shootout to give the side the trophy. Keller started the first seven games of the final round of World Cup qualifying in 2005, recording five consecutive clean sheets and 507 consecutive goalless minutes to lead the U.S. to qualification for the 2006 FIFA World Cup Finals in Germany. He then became the first male player in U.S. history to win his third Athlete of the Year award. On May 2, 2006 Keller and teammate Claudio Reyna became the first two Americans named to four World Cup Rosters. In that World Cup, he played in all three games, being named Man of the Match in the 1–1 draw with Italy in Kaiserslautern on June 17, 2006. Keller is the only U.S. player to participate in both the 1990 and 2006 World Cups.
Keller resides in Seattle with his wife Kristin and their two children, Cameron and Chloe, twins born on August 26, 1997. Keller has lived in London, Madrid, and Germany, where he and his family lived in a 1,000-year-old castle. During his time abroad, Keller has learned to speak German and Spanish fluently. He told the New York Times that he turned down offers from several European clubs to sign with Seattle for the sake of his children, who have attended a new school with every transfer he has made. Keller has been featured on ESPN as a soccer analyst.
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Seattle Sounders FC
- Millwall F.C. Player of the Year: 1992–93
- National Soccer Hall of Fame: 2015
- FIFA World Youth Championship Silver Ball: 1989
- Honda Player of the Year: 1999, 2005
- U.S. Soccer Athlete of the Year: 1997, 1999, 2005
- MLS Goalkeeper of the Year: 2011
- Western Soccer League MVP:1989 Western Soccer League
- Western Soccer League Top Goalkeeper: 1989
- Hugman, Barry J., ed. (2008). The PFA Footballers' Who's Who 2008–09. Mainstream Publishing. p. 240. ISBN 978-1-84596-324-8.
- Wochnick, Meg (March 23, 2011). "Rams honor Kasey Keller with win". The Olympian. Retrieved November 10, 2015.
- Wood, Gail (December 23, 2013). "It All Started in Lacey for Seattle Sounders' Kasey Keller". Thurston Talk. Retrieved November 10, 2015.
- "Spurs seal Keller transfer". BBC Sport. British Broadcasting Corporation. August 13, 2001. Retrieved April 16, 2012.
- "Southampton sign Keller on loan". BBC Sport. British Broadcasting Corporation. November 12, 2004. Retrieved April 16, 2012.
- "Haus Donk". Archived from the original on October 9, 2007.
- Henderson, John. "Keeper of castle". The Denver Post.
- "Kasey Keller Biography". The Official Site of U.S. Soccer. Archived from the original on November 13, 2006. Retrieved June 14, 2006.
- "Fulham bring in goalkeeper Keller". BBC Sport. August 23, 2007. Retrieved August 23, 2007.
- "Seattle signs former US goalkeeper Keller". Associated Press. August 14, 2008. Retrieved August 14, 2008.
- Romero, José Miguel (May 3, 2009). "Kasey Keller allows his first goal of the season as Sounders FC ties Chicago". Seattle Times. Retrieved May 30, 2009.
- "Sams-Army.com". Archived from the original on March 21, 2013. Retrieved July 22, 2007.
- Mahoney, Ridge (August 31, 2005). "Keller settles in as USA's top goalkeeper". USA Today. Retrieved August 2, 2009.
- "Kasey Keller 18 Goalkeeper". Archived from the original on March 23, 2009. Retrieved August 11, 2009.
- Bell, Jack (April 13, 2005). "Q&A With Kasey Keller". New York Times. Retrieved August 2, 2009.
- "Hall of Fame – Class of 2015". U.S. Soccer. Archived from the original on July 12, 2015. Retrieved July 11, 2015.
- Kasey Keller at Major League Soccer
- Kasey Keller at Soccerbase
- Kasey Keller at Millwall-History.co.uk
- Kasey Keller at National-Football-Teams.com
| Borussia Mönchengladbach captain
| Seattle Sounders captain