Year In Stories: Retirements
Posted by: Matt Gaschk
A look back at the stories behind the Sounders FC in 2011.
It’s no secret that I have a lot of fun doing my job.
Over the next few days, I will share with you some of the stories I’ve written over the past year that have been particularly fun to write. I will also share some of the ones that were more difficult to write, for one reason or another.
We will start with the three players that retired from the Sounders after the 2011 season: Terry Boss, Taylor Graham and Kasey Keller.
Boss had his career cut short because of concussions – an injury that has caused several professional sports careers to end prematurely in recent years. He talked about that abrupt end and the difficult reality in “Out Of His Hands” (12/13).
Boss seemed in line to play a much more significant role for the Sounders in 2012 and the sudden end to his career was pretty tough to digest. Here was a guy who was in peak physical condition who took great care of himself who had to retire because of injuries. He worked like crazy to get to where he was and took every opportunity to step on the field, then his pro career was taken from him. There was a lot of emotion in our conversation that I’m sure will be directed into his next venture, whatever it may be.
Graham had his Sounders FC career limited by injuries, but was a great ambassador for the club in his three years in the MLS and three more with the USL club before that. The 2005 USL Defender of the Year while playing with Seattle talked about his love for the city and his future plans in “The Next Step” (12/2).
Graham and I have shared a lot of conversations through the years. He was always very open and honest with me throughout his time in the USL era. It’s crazy for me to look back and think that he’s been on all but one team that I’ve covered over the last seven years.
Keller announced that 2011 would be his final professional season at a news conference last December and proceeded to have his best season as a Sounder, earning MLS Goalkeeper of the Year honors. Over the course of the year, I had the opportunity to follow Keller along his journey to his final match and after the season, talked with Keller for a story titled, “One Final Bow” (11/10).
I had talked with Keller countless times over the last three years – and a few more before he suited up for the Sounders – and at his retirement press conference he seemed very comfortable in his decision. Since then, he’s had the chance to get out and enjoy his time away from the game and I’m looking forward to the next phase of his career.