The Seattle Sounders have secured a replacement for legendary goalkeeper USA Kasey Keller, who retired at the end of the MLS season after three successful years with the young franchise. Keller, who captained the Sounders to three straight US Open Cup wins, will be replaced by 30-year-old Austrian Michael Gspurning, a move that's now been officially announced by the club.
Does Gspurning, who had spent the previous four years at Greek Super League side Skoda Xanthi, have what it takes to fill Keller's spot in the lineup? Sounders coach Sigi Schmid seemed impressed:
We like Michael's background and pedigree. We like his size. He's got good feet so we can play through him and he's very good on crosses, takes good angles and has good hands.
Gspurning's arrival has been one of the worst-kept secrets in soccer, with the groundwork laid last summer when the goalkeeper came to visit and train with the club. With his contract with Skoda Xanthi expiring this month, Gspurning had been on the lookout for a new home, and was taken enough by the Sounders (and they with him) to move to Seattle. The terms of the deal have not been disclosed, but if he's half the goalkeeper that Keller was, the club and fans will be more than happy with their investment.