A crowd of 64,140 attended Saturday’s game between the Seattle Sounders and San Jose Earthquakes. It was the final regular season home game for Sounders goalkeeper Kasey Keller, who is retiring after nearly 20 years as a professional soccer player.
“I’m just humbled.” Keller said after the game. “I’m humbled not just for what the club has done for me and given me the opportunity to come home and finish my career back home in something that is just so incredibly special. You can ask my friends who were able to fly out, guys who’ve played around the world, and they just can’t believe it. They just are so proud of what’s going on here in Seattle and I’m just proud to be a small piece of it.”
The 41-year-old native of Olympia, Wash., joined Seattle in 2008 ahead of its inaugural season in Major League Soccer. He has been the club’s starting goalkeeper and idol to its fervent supporters for its first three seasons.
He previously spent 17 years playing in Europe’s top leagues including stops at Fulham (England, 2007-08), Borussia Mönchengladbach (Germany, 2004-07), Southampton (England, 2002-03), Tottenham (England, 2001-2004), Rayo Vallecano (Spain, 1999-2001), Leicester City (England, 1996-99) and Millwall (England, 1992-96).
Keller also played 102 times for the USA national team and appeared in four FIFA World Cups.
Saturday’s crowd was the fourth largest for any soccer game on the planet that weekend. Only Real Madrid, Barcelona and Bayern Munich drew higher figures.
Watch a tifo tribute to Kasey Keller by Seattle’s “Emerald City Supporters” group below.
Photo courtesy of Flickr/Mozzer