Sometimes professional goalkeepers make saves so quickly that they seem to be almost pure instinct. However, when Kasey Keller talked about his best saves from last night's 2-2 draw at Colorado, it was obvious that thought and experience are huge parts of the package.
First, here's how today's Denver Post described the saves:
Sounders goalkeeper Kasey Keller showed off his four World Cups of experience by denying Nick LaBrocca's breakaway just before halftime and somehow managing to glove away Casey's air hammer of a header in the 35th.
"He got down real quick," said Casey, trying to shake the replay from his eyes. "It was a great save."
And here's how Keller described them:
"The hardest one was the header against Conor Casey, to be honest. That was the most difficult save.
"But I think the one against LaBrocca at the end of the first half … I knew he didn't see where I was. What I wanted to do was try to narrow that angle pretty quickly on him until he got his head up. I tried to spread by legs a little bit to be sure that he couldn't slide it underneath me. I knew it would be really tough to beat me on my left side so I showed him a little bit to the right, and he put it in a place where I could save it.
"The second one was just standing big and hoping that he'd hit it somewhere where I can save it – especially when he's at a little bit of an angle. I was very happy with the angle. He would have had to do something special to beat me from there. But don't make his mind up for him. Don't be leaning one way. Stand up and make him beat you. And fortunately I was able to get my hand on it and get it over the bar."
By the way, Keller went into the Colorado game as the league-leading goalkeeper with a 0.41 goals-against average. However, the Rapids' two goals raised Keller's average to 0.60 and dropped him to second in the league behind Zach Thornton of Chivas USA.