TUKWILA, Wash. – Marcus Hahnemann will get his wish.
The Seattle native will start in goal for the Sounders in their CONCACAF Champions League group-stage finale against Marathón on Wednesday (10 pm ET, Fox Soccer), head coach Sigi Schmid announced after Tuesday’s training session.
“He’s come back and I’m sure it’s going to be a special moment because he gets an opportunity to play for the Sounders which is something he’s always wanted to do,” Schmid said on Tuesday. “It will be great for our fans to come out and see that. It will be a unique day. I’m sure he’s calm right now, but I’m sure he’ll be a little bit emotional before the game.”
When Hahnemann came out of what he assumed was his retirement to sign with the Sounders about a month ago, it was with the hope that he’d be able to finish his career where it started. This will complete a circle that has also included more than a decade worth of playing professionally in England and being named to two World Cup teams.
Although Hahnemann has technically played for the Sounders before and during the A-League days from 1994-96, he admitted this is a bit of a dream come true.
“When you step on the field, it becomes real,” Hahnemann said, noting that he thought this opportunity had passed him by last year when a deal couldn’t be made to bring him back to the Sounders.
“Being a sub at least, it's closer, but actually playing is I think the ultimate. Most of the fans would give their right arm, their first born to step on that field – I'm one of them. I never take anything for granted. Just to go out one more time it would all be worth it."
Hahnemann has made steady progress since coming to the Sounders admittedly out of playing shape. He has worked his way back to the point that he’s been listed as the backup in each of the Sounders’ past two games.
Whether or not this is a one-off appearance remains to be seen. Schmid indicated that the choice of whether to come back is mostly up to Hahnemann, but did say it would almost certainly be as a backup to starter Michael Gspurning.
“For sure if Marcus has an interest, he knows what the situation is right now,” Schmid said. “Certainly, if you can add a guy like Marcus with his experience, what he provides for you on the soccer field but also in the locker room.
“Our goal is always play a lot of games, so there are going to be opportunities there as well. It would great if he wanted to do it. At his age, Marcus deserves to step away from the stage when wants to.”
Jeremiah Oshan covers the Seattle Sounders for MLSsoccer.com and SB Nation.