Keller's role as USA coach to expand for Gold Cup

Keller's role as USA coach to expand for Gold Cup

The Sounders legend has seen his coaching opportunities expand recently as time with the Sounders helped prepare him for a bigger role with the USA.

Kasey Keller’s résumé has always been quite impressive.

In addition to his 16 years playing in the top leagues in England, Spain and Germany, his three years captaining Sounders FC from their infancy to one of the top soccer brands and his 101 caps with the U.S. National Team, he has also established himself as a prominent voice in soccer broadcasting with his work with ESPN and on the Sounders FC broadcasts.

Now, after already enjoying a stint coaching with the U.S. U-20 National Team in one of their training camps earlier this year, Keller will join the U.S. National Team as goalkeeper coach for the quarterfinals through the finals of the CONCACAF Gold Cup. He will join the staff of Jurgen Klinsmann as a part-time replacement for regular goalkeeper coach Chris Woods, who will join David Moyes’ staff at Manchester United for training camp.

To get ready, Keller was at Sounders FC training on Tuesday at Starfire Sports, working with goalkeeper coach Tom Dutra and the Seattle goalkeepers.

“For me it was a little favor, just because Klinsmann asked me if I could come in and do it for the quarterfinals through the finals of the Gold Cup. I needed to kick a few balls before I did that so my leg didn’t fall off when I got in there,” Keller said of his cameo at Starfire. “They let me come out and help Tommy out for a few days, hopefully get in a little bit of shape for when I go out to serve with the national team.”

Keller has gotten to know Klinsmann through the years and even moreso in recent years as Keller has worked on the ESPN broadcast team during U.S. National Team matches. An icon in the world of U.S. Soccer, Keller is a natural fit for the coaching gig. However, he has no plans to make the permanent jump into that realm any time soon.

“I enjoy coaching. I enjoy helping out, but right now I’m very happy with my broadcasting and I’ve got a couple years left on that contract. I’m happy to keep pursuing that,” said Keller, who is in his second year in the Seattle broadcast booth alongside play-by-play man Ross Fletcher.

If the U.S. reaches the final, Keller would miss the broadcasts of Seattle’s matches on July 20 against the Colorado Rapids and July 28 against Chivas USA. However, he has the club’s blessing in working with the national team in the Gold Cup.

“It’s a little tricky timing-wise, and I hate having to miss games with the Sounders, but the national team is the national team, and that’s kind of the way the club felt,” Keller said. “I spent a lot of time with the national team and it’s nice to kind of give back a little bit.”

Former Sounders FC defender and current radio analyst Taylor Graham will assume Keller’s role in the broadcast booth for any matches he misses.

The CONCACAF Gold Cup returns to Seattle TONIGHT! Martinique-Panama and Mexico-Canada are the matches...get tickets here.

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