Tuesday, December 20, 2005


The American goalkeeper most likely to play in the World Cup this year is former University of Portland keeper Kasey Keller.  He has been playing in European leagues for the last 15 years, and has gotten lots of respect from foreign players and coaches.

A few quotes:

      Keller now plays at Bundesliga club Borussia Moenchengladbach, where he is so highly regarded the notoriously critical German fans unfurl banners praising "Kasey 'The Wall' Keller."

      He is rated second in the league among goalkeepers, ahead of the likes of Bayern Munich's Oliver Kahn, a two-time world goalie of the year.

      Keller had a 15-shutout season for England's Leicester City in 1997-98 and 77 saves for Tottenham two years ago, second best in England's top league. His four shutouts in four UEFA Cup rounds boosted Rayo Vallecano of Spain into the quarterfinals in 2001. The two years he spent with the club make him the only American to play in Spain's La Liga.

      Keller's performance in the Americans' 1-0 win over Brazil in 1998 prompted Romario to say it was the greatest performance he had ever seen by a goalkeeper.

Keller started in England in 1990, where he was the first US player to play there on a US passport.  His presence in Europe opened the door for young American players careers abroad.  I thought he was going to get the nod for the 2002 World Cup, but Brad Friedel got it instead.

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