There aren’t many players in Major League Soccer that can harken back to experiences in a 1995 championship match when faced with a difficult challenge.
Marcus Hahnemann can, though, and recalled that A-League Championship victory over the Atlanta Ruckus when he stonewalled a penalty at Seattle Center’s Memorial Stadium to secure victory for the Sounders. Now, 19 years later, he did it again. This time in the fifth round of the U.S. Open Cup against San Jose at Starfire Stadium, the Seattle-native stopped a J.J. Koval penalty to set up Lamar Neagle for the winner as Seattle advanced with a 4-1 shootout win over the Earthquakes.
“It’s awesome. I remember in ’95 I got tackled by Todd Stauber when we won the shootout and he wasn’t even on the team,” Hahnemann smiled. “It’s great and the crowd here is awesome. It’s a lot more intimate than what we have at CenturyLink.”
The shootout served as a bit of redemption for Hahnemann after allowing the first goal of the match in the 24th minute to San Jose forward Steven Lenhart.
It was the lone misstep in an otherwise flawless performance for the Seattle defense, allowing just four shots on goal over 120 minutes, only one of which came after the first 45 minutes.
“I felt I was at fault for the first goal. I just got wrong-footed by Lenhart and he put a good shot in,” Hahnemann said. “The worst thing you can do is try to make up for it, so I didn’t go chasing any crosses or doing anything stupid.”
The combination of Hahnemann’s experience and a well-scouted effort by goalkeeper coach Tom Dutra set the tone on the defensive end in the shootout, while a slew of players who are strong set-pieces finished things off on the offensive end.
“He did well. He is an experienced player,” Sounders FC Head Coach Sigi Schmid said of Hahnemann. “Tommy, our goalkeeper coach, does a good job in terms of preparing the guys for PK's. They shot in the exact same order when they played Toluca and it went to PK's. He had that all down, and he and Marcus communicate, and it all works out.”
Sounders FC will face the Portland Timbers in the quarterfinals on July 9 at Starfire. Tickets go on sale Thursday morning at 10 am PT.