When Marcus Hahnemann dropped his kids off at school on Friday morning, they had no clue that their father was about to sign with the Sounders FC.
Hahnemann didn’t know for sure if it would happen, himself.
So when he and his wife Amanda picked Hunter and Austin up from school to take them to their cabin in Cle Elum, he finally broke the news to his disbelieving sons.
“I told them I signed with the Sounders and they said, ‘What do you mean? To coach?’ It took the whole drive up to Cle Elum for them to believe it,” Seattle’s new 40-year-old goalkeeper laughed.
After one last weekend fishing and spending time with his family, Hahnemann joined the Sounders for his first training session on Monday at Starfire, where as a youth he played half of his games with the Renton Sting.
The former Kentridge and Newport High School and Seattle Pacific University standout was hopeful that he could make a return to Seattle, where he also started his professional career with the Sounders in A-League, winning championships in 1995 and 1996 before moving on to MLS and England.
However, it didn’t look initially likely that he would be able to sign with the Sounders – the only club he wanted to play for to finish out his career.
His old team with the Sounders reads like a who’s who of the local youth coaching circuit and he was set to join them. He had also started on several projects at his house, including tearing up and rebuilding his deck.
In the waning moments of the roster freeze though, things fell into place and he was able to put those projects on hold for the time being.
Although the former US National Team keeper has ties to the Seattle area aplenty, those alone are not the reasons Hahnemann is now wearing a Sounders jersey.
“I would say it was all soccer. We wouldn’t have done it for sentiment,” Sounders FC owner and general manager Adrian Hanauer said. “We think he’s still got good goalkeeping in him. It’s always an added bonus when there’s a little bit of sentiment there, but we’re in the business of winning championships. If he couldn’t do the business, we wouldn’t have signed him.”
He showed that on Monday, going through the full training session with Seattle’s four other goalkeepers and goalkeeper coach Tom Dutra, a former teammate of his with the Sounders in the A-League.
After completing a series of goalkeeping drills, he faced live shooting with several Sounders players and did well enough to bring a smile to head coach Sigi Schmid’s face after training.
“For him, it’s just a matter of getting into the rhythm,” Schmid said. “He had a good, hard training session today.”
Hahnemann hopes to challenge starter Michael Gspurning for playing time for the rest of this season and into next year. At some point, he will likely start a match at CenturyLink Field. At that point, perhaps his children won’t need any more convincing.
Marcus Hahnemann is finally a Sounder.