There's quality in quantity, and over the course of his 20-year professional career, Kasey Keller gave fans plenty of both.
And one of his last acts as a pro was to combine the two in a spectacular four-save series for Seattle against the San Jose Earthquakes in Week 31, a performance that earned the now-retired legend his second straight Save of the Year award.
|Player||% of fan vote|
|Kasey Keller (SEA)||41|
|Troy Perkins (POR)||32|
|Troy Perkins (POR)||14|
|Teemu Tainio (NY)||12|
Keller's dramatics came in the 65th minute of his final home game and kept the Sounders in a contest they were losing 1-0. The sequence started when a poor back pass from Patrick Ianni put Khari Stephenson in on goal. Keller came off his line to take the ball off Stephenson's foot, but the rebound fell to Chris Wondoloski.
Wondolowski laced a low shot that Keller scrambled back to kick away, then had to scramble again as the rebound came to Simon Dawkins. Keller parried Dawkins' shot as well, then came off his line to once again close down Wondolowski on the rebound.
The magnum opus brought the home crowd of nearly 65,000 to their feet and spurred the Sounders to a come-from-behind victory.
Keller's display took 41 percent of the vote, which was conducted online. Portland Timbers netminder Troy Perkins took second and third place with a pair of spectacular saves. His kick-save on a Marco Pappa drive in Week 18 took second (32 percent), while his point-blank stop of Fredy Montero's header in Week 17 came in third (14 percent). New York midfielder Teemu Tainio's bicycle-kick clearance of Kenny Cooper's header in Week 14 took fourth place (12 percent).
Keller posted nine shutouts on the year, racking up 110 saves in the process. He was named 2011 MLS Goalkeeper of the Year based on voting conducted with MLS players, media and team personnel.
All-time MLS Save of the Year Winners
2011: Kasey Keller – Seattle Sounders FC vs. San Jose Earthquakes – October 15, 2011
2010: Kasey Keller – Seattle Sounders FC vs. Kansas City Wizards – April 17, 2010
2009: Pat Onstad – Houston Dynamo vs. Colorado Rapids – April 20, 2009