The careers of Sounders FC coach Sigi Schmid and former Sounder goalkeeper Kasey Keller have crossed for decades, and they will cross once more Saturday when both will be inducted into the National Soccer Hall of Fame at a ceremony in Seattle.
“I played against Sigi in college,” Keller said Friday. “He was one of my coaches with youth national team stuff at different times, and obviously coming back here (with the Sounders). To have it work out this way where both us of can kind of have the ceremony in Seattle and be part of it and have so many people involved. We had to have a conversation so we didn’t double up the invites with the same people, so that was kind of cool. So obviously with the heavy Sounders influence … it will just make the night that much more special.”
The induction ceremony at the Museum of History and Industry is by invitation only, but Keller and Schmid will be publicly honored Sunday at CenturyLink Field before the Sounders’ MLS match with the Los Angeles Galaxy at 6:30 p.m. A crowd of around 55,000 is expected.
“They’ve both been so important to this organization,” Sounders owner Adrian Hanauer said. “We wouldn’t be where we’re at without those two guys. They’ve done a tremendous amount for soccer in this country; very proud to have had them as part of this organization. A very deserving honor for them to go into the Hall of Fame.”
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Keller is an Olympia native who became one of the most successful goalkeepers this country has produced. He played 102 games for the U.S. national team between 1990 and 2007, participated in four World Cups, and is the USA’s all-time shutout leader with 47.
He signed with the Sounders in August of 2008. Four months later, the club signed Schmid as its first coach.
Schmid is the winningest coach in MLS history, and has won MLS Cups with Los Angeles and Columbus. Before that he coached 19 seasons at UCLA, leading them to three NCAA titles. He also coached the USA U-20 men’s team, and was an assistant under Bora Milutinovic for the 1994 World Cup.
“Obviously I think it’s fantastic that it’s two guys connected with the Sounders that are going in,” Schmid said. “And obviously Kasey is extremely well connected with the state of Washington, having come from here. I think it’s great, and I think it’s great that U.S. Soccer allowed the ceremony to take place in Seattle.”
Schmid and Keller will be inducted along with the late Glenn Myernick, an American soccer player and coach who died in 2006 at age 51.
Schmid will be introduced by Dean Wurzberger, a former University of Washington head coach who served as Schmid’s assistant at UCLA in the 1980s. Keller will be introduced by his longtime U.S. Men’s national squad teammate Brian McBride.
There will be NFL markings on the MLS pitch Sunday when the Sounders and Galaxy meet before on national television.
Hanauer said there isn’t enough conversion time from the end of the MLS match until the start of the Seahawks game with the Detroit Lions on Monday night.
This will be the third time in the Sounders’ seven seasons that they will play with gridiron markings on their pitch.
“We work really hard on scheduling with the Seahawks to make this minimal, to try and avoid these situations,” Hanauer said. “But the reality is we do play two sports there, and we’ve sort of created a situation where we have I think 18 to 20 hours to deliver a clean field, and it wasn’t going to be possible.”
Schmid said the club expects central defender Chad Marshall to return to training next week. Marshall suffered a sprained neck in training Wednesday and spent one night in the hospital. “With certain injuries like that you’ve got to go through a protocol,” Schmid said. “We always err on the side of caution, but fully expect to see Chad around next week.” That is a bye week for the Sounders, who then will return to MLS play Oct. 18 at Houston. … Schmid also said starting left back Oniel Fisher is “day to day, week to week” with a hamstring injury. … MLS has announced its postseason schedule. The conference play-in games will be held Oct. 28-29, the conference semifinals Nov. 1-8, the conference championships Nov. 22-29, and MLS Cup at 1 p.m. Dec. 6. … The U.S. national team’s 23-man roster for the CONCACAF Cup match Oct. 10 against Mexico will be announced at 4 p.m. Saturday on Fox’s college football pregame show. Sounders Clint Dempsey and Brad Evans were named to the 35-man preliminary roster. … Individual game tickets for the Tacoma Stars’ MASL season have gone on sale at tacomastars.com.
Don Ruiz: 253-597-8808
SUNDAY: L.A. Galaxy (14-9-8, 50 PTS) at Seattle Sounders FC (14-13-4, 46), CenturyLink Field, 6:30 p.m., Fox Sports 1, 97.3-FM