Last Saturday night was Kasey Keller’s final regular season home match for the Seattle Sounders. Over 64,000 fans came out to partake in one of the biggest retirement parties ever. And although the Sounders did not have a great match, it ended in true storybook fashion that would seem clichÃ© were it written for Hollywood.
After going down a goal early in the match, the Sounders struggled to gain any momentum and only managed three shots in the entire first half. But then in the 65th minute, Kasey Keller got things going with this unbelievable sequence:
The crowd had been cheering Kasey with just about every touch he’d made on the ball throughout the match. But when he made those four saves in 10 seconds to keep the Sounders in the match, the largest crowd to watch a league match in Seattle went completely berserk. Defender James Riley said after the match, “Insane. I’ve never heard it that loud before. And usually I’m able to just zone it out. It was just so overwhelming after the last save and the counter(attack). I’ve never heard it that loud before. Unbelievable.”
Whether it was the incredible saves from Keller, the huge rush from the crowd, or the introduction of Mauro Rosales in the 64th minute, the Sounders were gaining confidence late in the match. They finally broke through and got on the board in the 82nd minute from substitute Sammy Ochoa’s first goal as a Sounder. Here’s the video with Arlo White’s call:
But the “drama” was not over, yet. Just five minutes later, Fredy Montero gets the go-ahead goal to seal the victory for the Sounders.
The party continued after the match with a celebration of Kasey Keller’s 20 years as a professional. I had my camera and was able to capture a few great moments during the ceremony, as well as some of the pre-game tifo from both Emerald City Supporters and the North End Faithful. Enjoy!