Keller all for a Hahnemann-to-Seattle move despite long odds at acquisition

Keller (ISIphotos)

Photo by Nick Turchiaro/ISIphotos.com

By JONATHAN VERA

CARSON, Calif. – Kasey Keller announced at the beginning of the season he was going to retire at the end of the 2011 campaign, and as his farewell tour rolls on, the 41-year-old goalkeeper could not be more relaxed about his situation as he continues to play at a high level while experiencing new things.

Last week his famed hands became immortalized in plaster and are to be displayed in Seattle’s new Pro Shop featuring Sounders and Seahawks memorabilia. This was a first for the keeper.

"It's cool," Keller said, laughing. "Seattle is crazy for the Sounders, and it's been a lot of fun coming home to something so cool."

His potential successor could enjoy a similar fate.

With Keller leaving at the end of the season, all eyes are currently fixed on U.S. national team goalkeeper Marcus Hahnemann after Red Bulls general manager Erik Soler bluntly stated the keeper was going to Seattle.

With Hahnemann, who grew up around Seattle and played for the Sounders' A-League franchise in the 1990s, being good friends with Keller, the current Seattle keeper was thrilled at the possibility of the move.

"Marcus is one of my very good friends," Keller said. "I'd love for Marcus to get the opportunity that I did, to be able to come home and finish your career at Seattle.

"But I stay out of that stuff. That's none of my business in what direction the team goes. I know there's a lot of hurdles, and it's not as easy as it sounds."

Keller is right. It's not as easy as it sounds because of the rules and regulations of Major League Soccer. Since Hahnemann is a returning national team player he has to go through allocation order.  

Seattle currently sits seventh in the order, behind Chivas USA, Philadelphia, Houston, Toronto, Chicago and Sporting Kansas City, respectively.

"If you tell me all the other teams are going to pass, then I would say yeah, Marcus Hahnemann is coming to Seattle," Seattle coach Sigi Schmid said. "I don't think the other teams are going to pass."

A trade could always bring Hahnemann Seattle's way, and while Schmid would certainly welcome the 39-year-old keeper to CenturyLink Field, Seattle is not willing to do what D.C. United did in sending a sizable package to Philadelphia to trade up in the allocation order to get Troy Perkins prior to the 2010 season.

"For us, we would love to have Marcus," Schmid said. "We would love to have him play in his home town. I think he would love to play in his home town, but I think the rules right now don't allow it."

For the time being, Seattle still looks to Keller as its rock between the pipes, and he's been performing at an All-Star-caliber level in his final season as a player.

"At different times you're always thinking, when you're out of contract and that kind of stuff, 'What am I doing here? What am I going to do? What's next?'" Keller said. "Well now I know, and I can just relax and try to play as well as I possibly can.

"My goal the whole time is to get as many people saying by the end of the year, 'Are you sure you don't want to play one more year?'"

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37 Responses to Keller all for a Hahnemann-to-Seattle move despite long odds at acquisition

  1. Dune king says:

    I see you losers trying to bypass that loss to Sweden, US Soccer needs CHANGE!!

  2. mistadobolina says:

    a piece about how dumb MLS rules are and how they deter US National Team players from returning to mls.. wow!

  3. Topher says:

    Shouldn’t you be under a bridge somewhere, only appearing to demand funds for passage?

  4. pd says:

    Congratulations to Keller–totally respect his decision to retire, but I could totally see him and BF going until they rolled 45, 46….. both have set the bar incredibly high for those NATS who follow and US Soccer is all the better for it. I wonder if coaching is in his future?

    I could see Chivas and Chicago wanting MH, but Philly Houton and Toronto KC are in good shape keeper wise… so it is in fact very possible. Does MH have any say in where he winds up? if I had to chose between finishing my career at Chivas or retiring I might retire…

  5. Walrus says:

    Seattle should wait another year for Hahneman and try and squeez one more out of Kasey…He still plays at high level and they could use the room for that much needed DP striker…

  6. Alex says:

    Nobody’s being a loser, it’s literally been 10 minutes since the game ended, hardly enough time for a write up.

    …However. I agree. US soccer needs many changes from the ground up. Easier said than done.

  7. Alex says:

    I could see Keller coaching. I’ve always loved the guy.

  8. bigprof says:

    couldnt MH just say he freaking hates Chivas and Chicago,and that every individual associated w/them from coaches to fans to even children of the fans and even the deaf-impaired supporter’s groups associated with those teams are nothing but a bunch of low class thugs? Who’d take him then, but Sea?

  9. Alex says:

    That’s what model professionals do… whine until they get what they want.

  10. Colin says:

    Deaf-impaired? So they can hear REALLY well?

  11. mistadobolina says:

    ya he could or Chivas/Chicago/etc could take him and say they will not trade him for anything less than Freddy Montero, all the allocation $$ and Drew Cary’s marching band.. then MH is stuck in limbo and is forced to sign somewhere else outside of MLS.

    basically these mls rules give lazy teams like NE and Chivas value that they have not earned as well as the ability to rip off teams that USNT players actually want to play for..

  12. Felix says:

    As everyone else says whenever one of these stories come up – these MLS allocation rules are dumb. I understand the theory behind it, from letting the teams with the big pockets stocking up on players – but as things are right now we don’t really see that. Most of the guys who do return to “home” generally seem to be guys who’ve had good careers in abroad and have earned plenty of money to not have compensation as a main factor.

    This is semantics to an extent though because MLS will bend its rules or make a trade happen if Hahnemann insists on coming back to Seattle.

  13. ELAC says:

    Chivas USA is cheap. Even if MH was a perfect match for my goats, CUSA would pass. We have no money.

    That said, we have a good keeper in Dan Kennedy already.

  14. Ian says:

    Lots of teams have good keepers already, but MH is a world-class keeper. I’d snap him up.

  15. lassidawg says:

    I can’t believe that people haven’t learned by now that if a player wants to come back to a specific team then they find away to make it work.

    It will be that MH hardly made any appearances for the national team so he doesn’t really count.

    He will end up in Seattle, not sure how but he will.

  16. Mikey says:

    Beckham!!

  17. Mikey says:

    All of the teams in front of the Sounders in the allocation order have their keeper situations settled. Those that could use an upgrade probably wouldn’t spend an allocation order pick for the marginal upgrade they’d get, and for only a year or two.

    Seattle makes the most sense, no matter how you slice it.

  18. Will says:

    World class might be a stretch. When I think world class, it’s Cech, Casillas, Buffon, Reina, Akinfeev, Abbiati, Julio Cesar, Friedel, Schwarzer and Sutton.

    MH is definitely a very good keeper, would be one of the top 3 in MLS immediately, but that doesnt make him world class…

  19. RangerSG says:

    The Allocation order has been gamed before by MLS (see Landon Donovan: LA Galaxy).

    Now Marcus doesn’t have the pull of LD, to be sure, but at the end of the day, the league likes to bring home USMNT players who want to come home. So it’s quite likely they’ll find a below-market trade that lets Seattle slide up in the order to pick their hometown player.

  20. Idaho Brian says:

    Is Keller getting DP money? If the Sounders are already used to paying DP funds for a keeper, then I suspect they could pay MH DP money and trump the allocation order, (if I remember that rule correctly). However, I’m not sure if at this stage in his career if MH could demand DP type wages, (I think he is a slight step down from Keller)…

  21. Martha says:

    +1

  22. anikan says:

    Doesn’t the allocation order go out the window if a team is willing to make the returning national team player a DP? With Seattle’s deep pockets I don’t think paying a little extra just to move to the front of the line is out of the question.

  23. jonk says:

    There is still the matter of whether they want to take the substantial cap hit that would come along with making MH a DP?

  24. A wise man once says:

    :O If Keller’s hands are to be displayed in Seattle’s Pro Shop, how will he play goalkeeping???

  25. cajun says:

    LOL, did you just sneak Sutton in there as a joke?

  26. Lassidawg says:

    Keller isnt a DP
    Fernandez and Montero are the 2 so they could use it on him, but I doubt they will

  27. T Bone says:

    Yes, what is the rush here? I don’t get it

  28. Justin says:

    No love for Timmy Howard, Joe Hart or Hugo Lloris?

  29. gstommylee says:

    If marcus is coming to seattle he won’t be as a DP.

  30. Edwin in LA says:

    Ummmm I’m pretty sure Dallas got Carlos Ruiz for the top allocation spot that went to LA so they could pick up Donovan, now Ruiz at the time being a 2 time MLS leading scorer, tied with Twellman I believe and a MLS Cup MVP as well as 2 year removed from a 2002 MVP season where Ruiz TORE MLS apart like pretty much NOBODY had done since maybe the inaugural season when guys like Hurtado, Lassiter, Dias-Arce had their way with the young defenses!

    I hate how there’s so much of this “The Galaxy gets all this treatment from MLS” even if it WAS true, hell is not like they’ve benefited from it?

    They won in 2002 after going to 3 Finals 1 of which they were the best team all year, and another in which the smaller club AEG owned at the time beat them, with Donovan btw, even in 98 they got beaten by Chicago, that might of been the 1 year they might of had what it took to beat DC lol. The 2nd Cup came in a year when they had to struggle and upset for it, so I don’t see why everyone still throw these rumors around?

  31. Edwin in LA says:

    I don’t know WHY Schmid doesn’t use David Estrada sometimes, especially when Seattle has had some injuries, you can’t tell me Mike Seamon is a better option to have on the bench or Neagle?

    That kid might of really screwed himself over by not coming out after his sensational rookie season at UCLA, but I have seen him do some great things in the little time he’s had with Seattle, goal vs Celtic comes to mind, what a beauty!

    Hey see if Chivas will take Estrada plus maybe a little money or a draft pick or who knows another player for the top allocation pick? Estrada might be inticing to the Goats, he’s cheap in his salary!

  32. Edwin in LA says:

    I don’t know WHY Schmid doesn’t use David Estrada sometimes, especially when Seattle has had some injuries, you can’t tell me Mike Seamon is a better option to have on the bench or Neagle?

    That kid might of really screwed himself over by not coming out after his sensational rookie season at UCLA, but I have seen him do some great things in the little time he’s had with Seattle, goal vs Celtic comes to mind, what a beauty!

    Hey see if Chivas will take Estrada plus maybe a little money or a draft pick or who knows another player for the top allocation pick? Estrada might be inticing to the Goats, he’s cheap in his salary!

    What do you think ELAC?

  33. Edwin in LA says:

    Have you not seen Terminator or IRobot? Or the last installment of Terminator franchise where there was like a Hybrid version of a human and robot? lol

  34. Steve B says:

    I agree…the Galaxy hate gets a little old when they haven’t won in so long.

  35. DomiNate says:

    Agreed. But he should be allowed to join us straight up as a homegrown. High school in Bellevue, national title at SEATTLE Pacific University, former USL Sounder. It’s total BS that we have to give up anything for him. He’s one of ours.

  36. Justin O says:

    Teams ahead of Seattle in the allocation order might have their keeper situation set, but that shouldn’t disuade them from taking Marcus, and then asking NYRB, “What will you give us for him?”

  37. Stan says:

    eurogeek