Five goalkeepers are signed, healthy and training with Sounders FC these days, a figure that keepers coach Tom Dutra admits is two more than ideal.
The newcomer is veteran Marcus Hahnamenn, who by all accounts is rounding into game shape.
It seems unlikely that Hahnemann would make his Seattle return in the important Western Conference homes games Oct. 17 vs. Real Salt Lake or Oct. 21 vs. Dallas.
A more likely spot could be the Oct. 24 date against Marathon of Honduras, which concludes CONCACAF Champions League group play in a group that the Sounders have already clinched.
“Could be; could very much be,” coach Sigi Schmid said. “I mean, (reserve keeper Andrew) Weber has continued to train well, and he’s obviously battling, so it’s a little bit of a battle positionally. But Marcus has definitely stepped up his game in the last two or three practices.”
The Sounders’ clear No. 1 keeper is Michael Gspurning, who leads MLS in goals-against average and winning percentage. Competing for the backup role are not only Hahnemann and Weber, but also second-year men Josh Ford and Bryan Meredith.
“I believe all those guys need to get their work,” Dutra said. “Yeah, it’s difficult. … Three is the perfect number, for sure.”
Playing time for reserve keepers is usually scarce enough. So, all those reserve keepers understood that their rare chances at playing time got rarer still when the club signed Hahnemann.
“Absolutely,” Dutra said. “I can’t make them a right back. They play one position … and there are five signed guys. I think it’s difficult -- I don’t think: I know it’s difficult. There’s nothing I can say to them except ‘Let’s keep working. What can we gain today and each and every day we come out here?’ All I can do is be honest with them: This is the situation we’re in.”