Kasey Keller made a fine start with his new club, the Seattle Sounders, as the new MLS franchise made the perfect start to life in the American top flight with a 3-0 win over the New York Red Bulls last night.
The former Fulham goalkeeper made a couple of smart saves to keep the New York forwards, such as former Aston Villa striker Juan Pablo Angel, at bay but the surprise came at the other end of the field as Seattle easily cut through the much-vaunted Red Bulls’ defence.
You can watch the highlights here.
Keller was happy to back Stateside after a sell-out crowd made for a sensational atmosphere.
The easiest transition for me coming from crazy, European crowds would be to have a crazy Northwest crowd. It was absolutely phenomenal. I couldn’t have written the script any better.
I was very nervous about coming home and being let down. Just kind of thinking, ‘Why did I come home for this?’
I know the Seahawks talk about the 12th man. I don’t know what our catch phrase is going to be, but there’s probably not a better atmosphere in soccer in America. It’s a huge honor to be part of that and it makes that transition for me so much easier.
It shouldn’t be forgotten that Keller, who stepped in for Antti Niemi at a crucial stage of the season, had a key role in our survival last season. He made several important saves not more so than moments after Danny Murphy had pulled us back level from two down at Eastlands last April. For those performances at the end of last season, Keller should go down in Fulham folklore.
Two of Keller’s former team-mates are also in the MLS this year. Simon Elliot is on international duty with New Zealand and won’t feature for the San Jose Earthquakes for another couple of weeks but former Fulham captain Brian McBride will line up for the Chicago Fire against FC Dallas tomorrow night. The match kicks off at 7.30pm British time.