Sounders FC head coach Sigi Schmid and former Sounders goalkeeper Kasey Keller will go into the National Soccer Hall of Fame together on Saturday, but they’re certainly not going in alone.
That’s because the two iconic figures of American soccer – Schmid as a wildly successful coach at the collegiate and professional level for decades and Keller as one of the premier goalkeepers in the nation’s history – will be toasted by a sea of faces from their past at Seattle’s Museum of History and Industry.
Schmid heads into the Hall of Fame on the Builder ballot following 35 years in the American coaching ranks. He’s the winningest coach in MLS history and has claimed league titles with the LA Galaxy (2002) and Columbus Crew SC (2008) before joining the Sounders ahead of their inaugural MLS season in 2009.
Keller, meanwhile, will be welcomed by a cadre of local family and friends who either first saw him as a youngster in Olympia, followed his career in Europe and with the U.S. national team or later watched him suit up for Schmid and the Sounders from 2009-11.
“It’s great to have it work out this way, where both of us can have the ceremony here in Seattle and be part of it and have so many people involved,” Keller said Friday. “We had to have a conversation so we didn’t double up on the invites to the same people.”
The two will also be honored with an on-field ceremony before the Sounders' matchup against the LA Galaxy at CenturyLink Field on Sunday (6:30 p.m. PT / FOX Sports 1, KIRO Radio 97.3 FM, El Rey 1360 AM).
Schmid said Friday that he’s expecting familiar faces from as far back as his childhood days in Southern California, as well as some of the members of the first team he coached at UCLA in 1980. He’ll be introduced by Dean Wurzberger, the former University of Washington head coach who served as Schmid’s assistant with UCLA during the mid-80’s.
“It’s going to be exciting,” Schmid said. “Some of those guys I haven’t seen in a long time, and there are guys who certainly want to set the record straight on some stories that have circulated about them over the years. It’s an exciting time – family and friends, and people you can share this with.”
Keller, meanwhile, will be introduced by longtime USMNT teammate and roommate Brian McBride after Keller introduced McBride during his induction last year.
“Every player, in their back of their mind, regardless of what sport they’re in, kind of hopes, ‘Wow, that’d be pretty cool if I was honored with being inducted into the Hall of Fame,” Keller said. “If it gets to that point and everyone around you in the sport thinks what you’ve done is merited for that honor, then it registers and you’re humbled by it.
“I’m just proud that my peers and everyone feels it was worthy.”
The late Glenn “Mooch” Myernick will also be inducted on Saturday following a career that saw him serve as the USMNT captain during his playing days in the late 70s and as an assistant with the USMNT at the 2002 and 2006 FIFA World Cups.