Kasey Keller will play his final regular-season home game on Saturday against the San Joe Earthquakes. That has been well documented. The Sounders have already started their search for his replacement. While they may find someone that can duplicate or even exceed his performances, it's hard to imagine anyone will fill the void in fans' hearts. Sounder at Heart points out that Keller was more than just a soccer star, he was also a local icon:
We don't want the American Legend to end. We will watch videos of your performances, stories will be told about your performances, generations of keepers will grow up trying to become you. When Seattle Sounders supporters, fans and players across ages look at Open Cup banners for 2009, 2010 and 2011, they will think of you. Though you only gave Seattle three years in the Green and Blue, you did not diminish your legend. It grew. An American soccer era is defined by my club's Captain.
What makes Keller's story so perfect is not just that he returned to his native country and played well, it's that he basically returned to the place he grew up. Despite living abroad for most of the previous 17 years, Keller fit right in when he returned to the Seattle area and instantly became the team's most popular player. He will certainly be missed.