The playoffs haven’t even begun yet for the Seattle Sounders, but people already want to know what the future holds for retiring Sounders goalkeeper Kasey Keller.
Would he ever follow in the footsteps of former players-turned-administrators, like UEFA president Michel Platini? Possibly, says the American legend.
When Keller joked during a Thursday conference call that he was soon taking over for MLS Commissioner Don Garber, one wondered if there wasn’t a kernel of truth in the jest.
“I definitely feel that at some stage I would love to get involved on that side of the game,” Keller said.
It’s long been known that Keller will continue in some capacity in the Sounders organization after his playing career concludes, but Thursday’s call unearthed the possibility that Keller’s ambitions may reach farther than that. Keller’s long response to a reporter’s question sounded at times like a stump speech, with the goalkeeper advocating for the fans and players against the business interests that have invaded the game.
The veteran of the English, Spanish and German leagues spoke about the benefits of having former players in governing roles.
“I saw firsthand the benefits that UEFA has had with the people like [German legend and World Cup 2006 Organizing Committee president Franz] Beckenbauer and the Platinis who have gone into those kinds of roles,” Keller said. “I think we have to remember – a lot of times it gets forgotten – that the game is about players and it’s about fans.
“The players are there to make the game entertaining for the fans,” Keller continued. “I know there’s a lot of money involved; there’s a lot of political issues involved, but we have to remember what’s first and foremost. Sometimes maybe it takes a player to get into those positions ... to say, ‘Hey, look, this is what’s it about,’ and ‘Let me explain to you why this isn’t a good idea for the players or for the fans.’”
Whether it’s a high-ranking position in Major League Soccer, CONCACAF or the US Soccer Federation that would tempt Keller, however, remains to be seen.
Keller reasserts retirement
Keller once again quashed the notion that he’d come back for Seattle’s matches in the knockout stages of the CONCACAF Champions League.
The veteran goalkeeper pointed to D.C. United’s Bill Hamid, Chicago’s Sean Johnson and Chivas USA’s Dan Kennedy as goalkeepers to watch in MLS.
Rosales “unlikely” against RSL
Sounders coach Sigi Schmid said that it was “unlikely” that Mauro Rosales would play against Real Salt Lake on Saturday, but mentioned that the midfielder was able to do some running at Thursday’s training session. Schmid said the club has its “fingers crossed” that Rosales can play a role in next Wednesday’s return match at CenturyLink Field.
Andrew Winner covers the Seattle Sounders for MLSsoccer.com.