TUKWILA, Wash. – Throughout his playing career, Kasey Keller was always more than happy to heed the call of the US men's national team.
Now, he’s being asked to do it as a coach. Keller will serve as the US goalkeeper coach during the Gold Cup quarterfinals (July 20-21) through the final (June 28, assuming they advance that far). It would be his first coaching experience with the senior national team, following a similar recent stint with the US Under-20 squad.
As preparation, he spent Tuesday working up a sweat with the Seattle Sounders goalkeepers at training. Keller is currently working as the Sounders’ color analyst on their local TV broadcasts.
“It’s nice to be asked,” said Keller, who played in four World Cups and accrued 101 caps. “The club was very accommodating. I have to miss a couple of games obviously and they thought it was cool. It’s a little tricky timing-wise, and I hate having to miss games with the Sounders, but the national team is the national team, and that’s kind of the way the club felt.
“It worked out for everybody, so it’s nice. I spent a lot of time with the national team and it’s nice to kind of give back a little bit.”
Although seemingly as qualified as anyone, Keller said this was not any kind of audition for a longer-term position. He suggested this was more of a favor to US manager Jurgen Klinsmann after ex-goalkeeper coach Chris Woods accepted a job with Manchester United earlier this month.
“I was happy to help out Tab [Ramos] with the Under-20s, and … for example, with the Under-20s, you don’t miss a game,” Keller said. “For the full national team it’s a little bit different ball game. It’s a little interesting on that side of it. It’s nice being involved with the national team programs when it works, and this is just one of those situations that we’re making it work, put it that way
“I enjoy coaching,” he continued. “I enjoy helping out, but right now I’m very happy with my broadcasting and I’ve got a couple years left on that contract. I’m happy to keep pursuing that.”