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US National Team’s Best XI: Kasey Keller

Kasey Keller is easily the greatest American GK ever when it comes to the MNT, though he loses in a landslide to Tony Meola for the greatest GK hair. Keller, who was born in Washington (the state, not the city), played for the US Nats for a remarkable 17 years (1990-2007). In truth, Keller could still be playing for the team, if not for the emergence of younger talents like Tim Howard and Brad Guzan.

Keller may be the only US player to ever play in the Premier League (where he was nicknamed “Mr. Magoo” due to his poor sight), La Liga and the German Bundesliga. Now, he is capping off his career by heading back to Washington to be the first GK in the history of Seattle’s MLS side. I expect him to play well, though he does have his work cut out for him considering the fact his team was only recently concocted.

Keller’s MNT career is about as heroic as they get. He is one of only two Americans to be named to four World Cup rosters (though he was a backup for almost all finals games). He appeared in over 100 games for the Nats, and he is the team’s all-time leader in saves, wins and shutouts. His most brilliant tournament performances came at the 2002 and 2005 Gold Cups, both of which the US won. 

Keller’s most lasting legacy though will likely be his 1998 shutout against Brazil, after which the legend Romario remarked that Kasey had played “the greatest game” he had ever seen (and Romario had seen some good ones). It’s appropriate that Keller grew up on an egg farm, because he has always sort of looked like an egghead in goal. But, there’s no denying he’s the finest MNT GK in the team’s history.