Kasey Keller

Kasey Keller Q&A on being elected to the National Soccer Hall of Fame

Kasey Keller Q&A photo 150408

On being elected to U.S. Soccer’s National Soccer Hall of Fame:

“It’s always one of those things that’s a huge honor once you really realize how difficult it is to get into the U.S. Soccer Hall of Fame. To think that everybody who has a voting right, and that in my first year I get in, it is nice. You do your job in a particular way and you hope that people respect what you have done and how you have done things — you don’t do it necessarily to get accolades, but it is nice when people acknowledge what you’ve done and I am proud and honored.”

On his favorite soccer moments:

“I think the cool part for me is just really trying to be one of the first Americans to experience different things — to play in the topflight in Spain, one of the first to really establish myself in England, to captain a team in Germany. Then there’s all of the fun times with the National Team, then have the opportunity to come home and finish my career with the Sounders, there’s just so many cool situations. I look where soccer was when I left in 1991, to where it is now, it’s an amazing growth rate. It’s cool to think that I had a part in that.”

On what he hopes people will remember about him:

“I think what was cool was that I had never played in MLS — I had left before there was an MLS — the bulk of my career was in Europe, and playing so long for the National Team was my connection back home and my connection to the American fans. Being a part it — obviously you have huge pride being an American and playing for my country — but being able to see where we came in such a short time without qualifying for the World Cup in 40 years, to where it came in that period while I was with the National Team, it’s phenomenal. Now, to be able to cover those games on the broadcast side, and what MLS has done in its 20 years of history, and to go from almost going to the wall a couple of times to now being very healthy – and I think the Sounders’ introduction was a big part of that from the beginning – it’s just been cool to know that I have been a part of so much of that history and to have that culmination of being voted to the Hall of Fame. It’s cool; it’s such a big honor.”

On his legacy:

“You do things a particular way because you feel it is the right way to do things. I think that is just silly [to do things just to be in the Hall of Fame]. I did things the way I felt was right for me, right for the sport, right for the fans — I didn’t cheat anything, I gave everything I had for every team I played for, and I did it also with a level of respect: respect for the game, respect for my fans, respect for the opponent, respect for myself, respect for the opponents’ fans, and I just think there is a way to do things and I hope that people have recognized that for the most part I try to do things the right way.”

On being inducted alongside Sigi Schmid:

“I played against Sigi in college, I played for Sigi for the [United States] Youth National Team, obviously I played for him for the Sounders — when soccer was unfashionable, when we needed guys to step up and make a commitment to the sport, Sigi did. There’s a reason why he has the most wins in MLS and I am proud of what he has accomplished and I think it is excellent he is being recognized by U.S. Soccer for everything he has done for the part.”



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