Editor's Note: SoundersFC.com is counting down the Top 10 Stories of the Year in December, recognizing the top storylines on and off the field in 2015. In the latest installment, we look back at Sigi Schmid and Kasey Keller's induction into the National Soccer Hall of Fame.
“You don’t get to this point without so much help.”
The point Kasey Keller was referring to on an early October evening was his induction into the National Soccer Hall of Fame, an honor he shared with his former coach Sigi Schmid and former U.S. national team player and assistant coach Glenn “Mooch” Myernick.
Keller and Schmid were inducted together and - appropriately so - in Seattle in front of a crowd of fellow Hall of Fame members, family and friends on Oct. 3 at the Museum of History and Industry. Schmid, the winningest coach in Major League Soccer history, was honored for both his accomplishments in MLS - where he's one four U.S. Open Cup titles and two MLS Cups - and at the collegiate level, where he won three NCAA titles at UCLA.
Schmid emotionally thanked his family for supporting him throughout his decades-long career that has moved him across the country, with special mention of his wife, Valerie.
“As she said to me when we got married, ‘I know what you are,’’ Schmid said. “I wasn’t quite sure what she meant by that, but I think she meant soccer coach.”
Keller, who played professionally abroad in England, Spain and Germany before returning home to the Seattle area ahead of the Sounders inaugural season in 2009, was introduced by his longtime USMNT teammate Brian McBride, who called the 'keeper “influential and important” before inviting him to the stage.
Keller, who grew up in Olympia, returned to his home state and played for three seasons, retiring as the MLS Goalkeeper of the Year in 2011.
“My dad was American. My dad didn’t have a passport. It was all American sports,” Keller said. “When I started giving up the other sports, my father didn’t quite understand. He said, ‘You’re choosing a sport where there’s no league in this country. What are you doing?’
“Well,” Keller quipped, “it worked out pretty well, Dad.”