Sounders Insider

Keller talks about election to soccer Hall of Fame

On being elected to U.S. Soccer’s National Soccer Hall of Fame:“It’s always one of those things that’s a huge honor once you really realize how difficult it is to getinto the U.S. Soccer Hall of Fame. To think that everybody who has a voting right, and that in myfirst year I get in, it is nice. You do your job in a particular way and you hope that people respectwhat you have done and how you have done things — you don’t do it necessarily to getaccolades, but it is nice when people acknowledge what you’ve done and I am proud andhonored.”

On his favorite soccer moments:“I think the cool part for me is just really trying to be one of the first Americans to experiencedifferent things — to play in the topflight in Spain, one of the first to really establish myself inEngland, to captain a team in Germany. Then there’s all of the fun times with the National Team,then have the opportunity to come home and finish my career with the Sounders, there’s just somany cool situations. I look where soccer was when I left in 1991, to where it is now, it’s anamazing growth rate. It’s cool to think that I had a part in that.”

On what he hopes people will remember about him:“I think what was cool was that I had never played in MLS — I had left before there was an MLS— the bulk of my career was in Europe, and playing so long for the National Team was myconnection back home and my connection to the American fans. Being a part it — obviously youhave huge pride being an American and playing for my country — but being able to see where wecame in such a short time without qualifying for the World Cup in 40 years, to where it came inthat period while I was with the National Team, it’s phenomenal. Now, to be able to cover thosegames on the broadcast side, and what MLS has done in its 20 years of history, and to go fromalmost going to the wall a couple of times to now being very healthy – and I think the Sounders’introduction was a big part of that from the beginning – it’s just been cool to know that I havebeen a part of so much of that history and to have that culmination of being voted to the Hall ofFame. It’s cool; it’s such a big honor.”

On his legacy:“You do things a particular way because you feel it is the right way to do things. I think that is justsilly [to do things just to be in the Hall of Fame]. I did things the way I felt was right for me, rightfor the sport, right for the fans — I didn’t cheat anything, I gave everything I had for every team Iplayed for, and I did it also with a level of respect: respect for the game, respect for my fans,respect for the opponent, respect for myself, respect for the opponents’ fans, and I just think thereis a way to do things and I hope that people have recognized that for the most part I try to dothings the right way.”

On being inducted alongside Sigi Schmid:“I played against Sigi in college, I played for Sigi for the [United States] Youth National Team,obviously I played for him for the Sounders — when soccer was unfashionable, when we neededguys to step up and make a commitment to the sport, Sigi did. There’s a reason why he has themost wins in MLS and I am proud of what he has accomplished and I think it is excellent he isbeing recognized by U.S. Soccer for everything he has done for the part.”