RENTON, WASH. – Major League Soccer announced today Seattle Sounders FC goalkeeper Kasey Keller was voted the 2011 MLS Goalkeeper of the Year.
Keller, the former U.S. international playing his final professional season, led all goalkeepers with 18 wins and posted a 1.09 goals against average and posted nine shutouts. He made a career-high 110 saves, the most of any keeper on a playoff team, and his 75.9 save percentage was second in MLS among those with 20 or more games played. Keller, 41, was the only Sounders FC player and one of only three MLS keepers to play every minute this season.
“It was a great year and I’m proud that I was able to perform at the level in my final year that I hoped to achieve,” said Keller. “Anytime you receive an award it’s always nice that someone has thought of you in that regard. I have never played the game for the awards but it’s nice to be recognized by your peers.”
On August 14, 2008 Keller became the second player signed by Sounders FC. He has started a league-high 95 consecutive (and 99 of 100 overall) MLS regular season and playoff matches, and has 119 competitive appearances altogether. Of active keepers who have played at least 50 matches he has the No. 2 career GAA (1.06) and in the last three seasons only Nick Rimando (35) has posted more than his 30 shutouts.
“Kasey had a superb season, finishing his career at such a high level is a reflection of his professionalism and high standards,” said Sounders FC Head Coach Sigi Schmid. “The game will miss him and we are proud that he was a Seattle Sounder.”
Keller was named to the 2011 MLS Best XI and has been an MLS All-Star each of his three seasons. He was named MLS Player of the Week for his performance in his final regular season home game in front of a record crowd of 64,140.
Six of Keller’s highlight saves were voted MLS Save of the Week, a league-high this season, and he is still in contention for MLS Save of the Year, to be announced on Wednesday, November 16. Keller was a finalist for Goalkeeper of the Year in 2009 and he won Save of the Year in 2010.
The 2011 season marked the end of Keller’s 20-year professional career. A native of nearby Olympia, Wash., he was a pioneer in 1992 when he earned the first work permit for an American to play in England, signing with Millwall. He went on to become a fixture for clubs in the English Premier League, Spain's La Liga and Germany's Bundesliga. At the same time Keller was a force for the U.S. National Team in its rise on the international stage. He earned a record 102 caps, 53 wins and 47 shutouts from 1990 to 2007.