In his 20 seasons as a professional soccer player, Marcus Hahnemann has gained a lot of experience and wisdom.
So when the Sounders FC goalkeeper looks at Seattle’s recent slump, he knows that a positive approach is the best way to get the breakthrough the team needs to get back on the winning side of the ledger.
“All it takes is one goal. Sometimes, on the teams I’ve been on, it can be an own goal from the other team and all of a sudden we score three more. Things just click and sometimes that’s all it is,” Hahnemann said. “What else can we do? Sometimes, you just have to keep hitting the bar and one’s going to bounce off a defender and go in for you.”
That optimistic outlook comes from more than just Hahnemann’s two decades in front of the net. To the 41-year-old Seattle native, it’s an attitude required of his position.
“I’m a fairly positive person. You can’t be a goalie if you’re not a positive person. You would be the most miserable person ever on Earth,” he said. “Your job is pretty negative. You’re trying to stop people from scoring. I don’t even really like winning, I just hate losing. Most of the time, you’re not directly responsible for a win. You’re only responsible for a loss."
Hahnemann has provided a veteran presence in the Seattle locker room since signing with the club late last season. He made two starts in August in place of Michael Gspurning while Gspurning recovered from a forearm injury and now has been moved into the starting role again.
Hahnemann is now 2-2-0 on the season with a 1.00 goals against average while Gspurning is 12-9-5 with a 1.28 goals against average this season and 24-13-10 with a 1.04 goals against average in two seasons in MLS. Additionally, Gspurning was spectacular in last year’s Western Conference Semifinals series, making 13 saves to top Real Salt Lake 1-0 in the aggregate-goal series.
That makes for a difficult decision for Head Coach Sigi Schmid as Seattle prepares for the regular season finale on Sunday against the LA Galaxy.
“Each week is a new decision in regards to the goalkeeping,” Schmid said. “We feel we have two quality goalkeepers and we’ll have a No. 1 goalkeeper on Sunday.”
The competition may be challenging, but because of the nature of the goalkeeper position, Hahnemann said it’s not a problem for him and Gspurning.
“It’s a difficult position for people to play, mentally. It takes certain individuals,” he said. “You need to have a pretty strong character to be able to play the position.”