Despite having played in Europe now for sixteen years, far longer than Brad Friedel or Tim Howard, Keller remains the most “American” top keeper in our player pool. Keller easily mixes well with young American starlets whether they hail from MLS or European clubs and will never refuse a call up from his country. It is precisely this commitment to the US National Team that has gotten Keller in trouble at times at his clubs. But wih crucial qualifiers coming down the pike for the United States, do our fans really feel more comfortable with an untested Brad Guzan or an error prone Tim Howard over Kasey Keller, whose ability to organize his back line and wall during set pieces is unquestioned? This is a question Bob Bradley must be asked and ultimately answer. My thinking is Keller has to be called in this summer for the qualifiers. Kasey Keller has been part of every successful United States qualifying effort in its history. With Keller once again getting regular football at Fulham, and showing once again his shot stopping prowess, from my vantage point the choice is a no-brainer.
This only makes even a modicum of sense if you’re one of the “believers” that says the the U.S. should win every single friendly it plays and set their lineups like each one is the World Cup final. Kasey is a good goalkeeper and genuinely good guy and a great figure in U.S. Soccer. All of that is true. But, he will not be at World Cup 2010 and therefore should play no role in qualifying either. The future of US goalkeeping is Tim Howard and Brad Guzan. That’s why they need to be the ones playing not Keller.
I don’t know what it is about the USMNT that appears to make people’s brains leak out their ears on to their keyboards below.