Marcus Hahnemann had a lot he wanted to experience and accomplish when he came out of retirement to make his return to Major League Soccer with Sounders FC late in the 2012 season. In 2013, he reached a lot of those goals, but not all of them.
That’s why he will come back in 2014 and went through an offseason workout program to have him ready to mark a few more items off his checklist.
“There are things I still haven’t done yet. I’ve been to a final and lost with Colorado in MLS. It would be nice to win a championship,” Hahnemann said. “I got to play at CenturyLink with all my family and all my friends. Those things that I never thought I was going to have the opportunity to do because of the Allocation Draft. Those things happened, but I didn’t check off all the things I wanted to check off and that’s why I’m coming back next year.”
The 2013 season was an odd one for the 41-year-old Seattle native.
He saw his first game action against Santos Laguna in the semifinals of the CONCACAF Champions League, starting in place of the suspended Michael Gspurning. Seattle lost the match 1-0, as Hahnemann finished the night with four saves.
His next start came in another 1-0 loss, this time to the Tampa Bay Rowdies of the North American Soccer League in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. After reaching the Open Cup final in each of the club’s first four years, Sounders FC had high expectations in the tournament and the early exit was a gut-punch.
“The history of the team in the Open Cup, you’d think we’d have a good run in that, then we lose down in Florida … you’re just devastated,” said Hahnemann, who expected that the Open Cup would be his best opportunity for regular playing time.
He continued to press Gspurning in training, but in July he suffered a hamstring strain in a Reserve League match against the Vancouver Whitecaps FC. Coincidentally, one week later Gspurning suffered a forearm injury, which would have opened the door for Hahnemann, as Gspurning missed four matches with the injury.
“You’ve got to be kidding me,” Hahnemann said when recalling that week’s events. “All these little different things … it was a little bit cruel.”
Hahnemann recovered in time to get two starts before Gspurning returned and in doing so was able to experience a sellout crowd at CenturyLink Field in a 3-0 shutout of FC Dallas. He also earned a 2-1 win against Toronto FC the following week, but wouldn’t start again until the final month of the season. However, with the offense stagnating, the three goals he allowed in those two matches meant a 1-0 loss to the Portland Timbers and a 2-0 loss to FC Dallas.
He also started in the first leg of the Western Conference Semifinals when Gspurning was suspended after picking up a red card in the Knockout Round against the Colorado Rapids. Seattle lost that match 2-1 and eventually lost the series to the Timbers 5-3, ending the season in frustrating fashion.
However, part of that frustration is why Hahnemann wants to return in 2014.
“This is my team. This is the first team I played for. It’s my hometown. It’s the game we’re going to go watch even when I’m not playing five years down the road. That changes everything,” Hahnemann said. “If it was another city, we wouldn’t even be talking about this. Because it’s my team, everything is different.”
Hahnemann, an avid outdoorsman and father of two, has several things he wants to do in his free time, but knows they need to continue to be on the backburner during his career. He still has unfinished projects at his Cle Elum cabin, and he has planned a trip to Baja for a motorcycle ride with a friend who will be racing in the Baja 1000.
Instead, he will be in the gym and on the training field getting ready for his 21st season as a professional goalkeeper.
“I’m not looking forward to the hard work, but there are still things I want to do. And I still think I can give something back and be part of the team,” he said. “As long as it’s still fun and I still think I’m contributing to the team and I have a chance to compete for the position, I’m going to do it.”