In the summer of 2012, Marcus Hahnemann got an unexpected call from Adrian Hanauer, the Owner & General Manager of Sounders FC. He was asked if he wanted to play.
“My question was, ‘For who?’” Hahnemann recalls. “He said the Sounders, and I went, ‘Yeah, I’m in, but [goalkeeper coach Tom Dutra] should probably come take a look at me, because I haven’t been training for three months.’”
Hahnemann was a retired goalkeeper living in the Seattle area when he received that call. He always wanted to return to his hometown’s club, but the opportunity didn’t work out in Sounders FC’s first three years in MLS.
Hanauer gave him that opportunity, and now a couple of years later, Hahnemann is retiring as a member of the team he began his career with more than two decades ago.
After leading Seattle Pacific University to the 1993 Division II national title, Hahnemann signed with the A-League Sounders in 1994. He was named Goalkeeper of the Year in his rookie season and guided the Sounders to back-to-back league championships.
Hahnemann credits his first professional coaches, namely Alan Hinton, for the storied career he would go on to have.
“I got everything I’ve learned from that team,” Hahnemann said. “All those guys, they give you tons of advice. I took a lot of it, which is why I think I kept improving throughout the years and kept getting better. Once I turned pro, I kept getting better every year. So that had a huge impact on the rest of my career.”
Hahnemann played three seasons with the Colorado Rapids before making the move to England in 1999. There he made more than 300 appearances for Fulham, Reading, Wolverhampton Wanderers, and Everton.
In 2006 and 2010, Hahnemann represented the United States at the FIFA World Cup.
His time with Sounders FC was highlighted by a 3-0 victory in his first MLS game with the club and a pair of appearances in the 2013 MLS Cup Playoffs. His most memorable performance with the MLS edition of the Sounders, however, came this year in a penalty shootout against San Jose that sent Seattle to the quarterfinals of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.
It was not easy for Hahnemann to walk away from soccer, even at age 42.
“It’s always hard to go, ‘Yeah, I’m going to retire. This is what I want to do,’” he said. “You’re not even thinking about the season ending, and then all of a sudden we have exit physicals.”
Despite the disappointing ending to Seattle’s season, Hahnemann is looking forward to the future.
"I'm excited for the next part of what's to come. There's all sorts of different opportunities ahead of me," he said. "The cool part is that I got to start off my career as a Sounder and I got to end it as a Sounder."