Sounders FC vs. PSA Elite
Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup 4th Round
Wednesday, 7 pm PT; Starfire Sports Stadium; Tukwila, Wash.
Marcus Hahnemann has been to two World Cups. He played in some of the largest stadiums in England during his 12 seasons with Fulham, Rochdale, Reading, Wolves and Everton.
Yet suiting up in front of 4,500 at tiny Starfire Stadium in a U.S. Open Cup match against an amateur team on Wednesday still has him thrilled to put on the Sounders FC kit.
"The chance to put on the jersey one more time for real … I cherish every moment I get the chance to do that," said Hahnemann. "There's not going to be that many more, so I try to enjoy everything I can and try to have as much fun as possible."
The 42-year-old goalkeeper and Seattle native has been vocal about how valuable his time with Sounders FC has been to him, joining the team out of retirement in 2012 and fighting for first-team minutes each year along the way. That has meant just four appearances in MLS matches, posting a 2-2-0 record with one shutout and a 1.00 goals against average while serving as a No. 2 behind Michael Gspurning and Stefan Frei.
Yet he has remained a vital part of the organization because of his veteran leadership, vast experience and passion for the club.
"He's been a good pro. He's worked hard at training. He's a guy who wants to play more minutes so he's frustrated, but that frustration also makes him work hard," Sounders FC Head Coach Sigi Schmid said. "He's done what I've expected anyone in his position to do. I'm pleased that we have two good goalkeepers."
For his part, Hahnemann remains competitive with Frei for first-team minutes despite his limited opportunities to get on the field. That competition keeps Hahnemann at the ready even while he battles through the aches and pains that age has brought on the training field. However, so does the time he spends in training with longtime friend and Seattle goalkeeper coach Tom Dutra.
"It's still fun to go out with the boys and train," Hahnemann said. "Tommy is awesome and I'm really good friends with him and that makes things easier."
Wednesday's appearance is no testimonial start for Hahnemann either. Schmid is confident that Hahnemann can lead the team back to success in the U.S. Open Cup, a tournament that brought Seattle its first championship at the MLS level. Sounders FC won the title in three consecutive years from 2009-2011 and reached the final in 2012.
"We expect his experience and his abilities in goal to help us and carry us in those games. It's something I know he's looking forward to and we're looking forward to as well."
Kickoff in Wednesday's fourth-round match is scheduled for 7 pm PT. The match at Starfire Stadium is sold out, but a live stream will be available on SoundersFC.com.