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Seattle Sounders Sign Kasey Keller

The long-running rumor of the Seattle Sounders signing former U.S. goalkeeper Kasey Keller finally came true this week.

Keller became the second signing, behind forward Sebastien LeToux, who plays for the Seattle Sounders in the USL First Division, that the expansion team has locked up for its inaugural Major League Soccer season in 2009. Keller, a native of the Olympia area about 60 miles south, has played all but one year of his professional career in some of Europe’s top leagues.

“There were different times where I was close to coming back to MLS,” said the 38-year-old Keller, who played most recently with Fulham of the English Premier League. “But D.C.? That isn’t home. That’s a four- or five-hour plane ride. Florida? I might as well stay in Europe.”

Keller has been on four U.S. World Cup squads. He also captained the 1996 U.S. Olympic team, and was the MVP of the 1998 CONCACAF Gold Cup, a tournament in which he shut out Brazil, 1-0. He earned 102 international caps for the U.S. team, winning 53 games in goal and logging 47 shutouts.

The Sounders are naturally very pleased with the signing of Keller, who signed a two year contract.

“One of the best ways to have an attacking style of play is to have offensive players who are confident in their defense and in their goalkeeper,” Sounders FC general manager Adrian Hanauer said. “If you believe you’re going to have a (shutout) and not give up goals, it gives you confidence to go forward and score goals.”