SEATTLE — If you ask any player for his recollections of playing against Manchester United, there are probably a few tough losses stored in the memory banks. Seattle Sounders goalkeeper Kasey Keller is no different.
Keller has played for four clubs in England — Millwall, Leicester City, Tottenham Hotspur and Fulham. During that time, he remembered being on the end of some lopsided losses. However, during his time with Leicester, the memories that stand out are a draw and a 1-0 victory at Old Trafford.
“I have a lot of memories against Man. United,” Keller said Saturday after the Colorado Rapids game. “I’ve had great games against [them] and lost one-nil.”
Keller would have had the opportunity to play the Red Devils once more, on July 27 at the MLS All-Star game, if not for Seattle’s CONCACAF Champions League match the night before against San Francisco FC in Panama.
Keller will play against the 19-time English champions one last time Wednesday night (10 pm ET, FOX Soccer). The veteran goalkeeper has said on multiple occasions that the 2011 season will be his last before moving into a role in the Sounders FC organization. Lining up against Wayne Rooney and company in a friendly will give him the opportunity to add one more memory to his collection.
“For me, it’s different than anyone else,” Keller said. “At the same time, it’s a fun game. There aren’t a lot of friendlies happening during the middle of the season in Europe. ... [Our players] watch these guys on TV and in World Cups and have that opportunity to test themselves against them. It’s an honor for our guys.”
Keller also spoke of the pride he has in the team’s training facilities at the Virginia Mason Athletic Center. According the Manchester United official website, the lakeside athletic facility has been drawing rave reviews from the Red Devils players.
Seattle’s captain is also looking forward to the match day atmosphere. Only a limited number of tickets are still available, meaning a crowd of around 66,000-plus will be on hand Wednesday night. In contrast to most of Manchester United’s tours, Keller said the majority of those fans will be cheering for the home side.
“They’re not going to be rooting for Man. United,” added Keller. “There will be a handful, but they will be the away team and that doesn’t happen too often.”
Andrew Winner covers the Seattle Sounders for MLSsoccer.com. Follow him on Twitter @AndrewWinnerMLS