With more than 64,000 expectant fans waiting for him to do something spectacular in Seattle on Saturday night, the pressure was certainly on goalkeeper Kasey Keller to perform in his farewell appearance at CenturyLink Field.
And he did just that.
Keller’s magnificent display kept the score at 1-0 to San Jose before a late flurry of goals from Sammy Ochoa and Fredy Montero gave Seattle the 2-1 win, and Keller a storybook ending in front of the world’s fourth-largest soccer crowd of the weekend.
Keller recorded seven saves in the contest, including a wonderful sprawling stop from Chris Wondolowski’s header in the 42nd minute to keep the Sounders in the game. Seattle were behind going into the break and falling two goals back would have certainly but a dampener on the evening, making their eventual comeback highly unlikely.
The 41-year-old then sent the Emerald City faithful crazy in the 64th minute, with his amazing quadruple save combo earning a standing ovation from the crowd.
Keller is the first goalkeeper to win the Player of the Week award this season, although LA’s midfielder Mike Magee did win the award for his goalkeeping heroics when he was thrust into the net during week 15, after Donovan Ricketts went off injured.
2011 PLAYER OF THE WEEK WINNERS
Week 30/31: Kasey Keller (Seattle Sounders FC)
Week 29: Marco Pappa (Chicago Fire)
Week 28: Dwayne De Rosario (D.C. United)
Week 27: Danny Koevermans (Toronto FC)
Week 25/26: Charlie Davies (D.C. United)
Week 24: Lamar Neagle (Seattle Sounders)
Week 23: Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City)
Week 22: Chris Pontius (D.C. United)
Week 21: Dwayne De Rosario (D.C. United)
Week 20: Dwayne De Rosario (D.C. United)
Week 19: Sanna Nyassi (Colorado Rapids)
Week 18: Mauro Rosales (Seattle Sounders)
Week 17: Fredy Montero (Seattle Sounders)
Week 16: Joel Lindpere (New York Red Bulls)
Week 15: Mike Magee (LA Galaxy)
Week 14: Bernardo Anor (Columbus Crew)
Week 13: Steven Lenhart (San Jose Earthquakes)
Week 12: Jean Alexandre (Real Salt Lake)
Week 11: Justin Mapp (Philadelphia Union)
Week 10: Jeff Parke (Seattle Sounders)
Week 9: Justin Braun (Chivas USA)
Week 8: Joao Plata (Toronto FC)
Week 7: Will Bruin (Houston Dynamo)
Week 6: Landon Donovan (LA Galaxy)
Week 5: Luke Rodgers (New York Red Bulls)
Week 4: David Ferreira (FC Dallas)
Week 3: Camilo (Vancouver Whitecaps)
Week 2: Javier Morales (Real Salt Lake)
Week 1: Omar Bravo (Sporting Kansas City)