English newspaper The Guardian did a feature on the 25 greatest United States Men’s National Team players, and 2 players who represented the Seattle Sounders as well as the USA, former Sounders goalkeeper Kasey Keller and current Sounders FC forward Clint Dempsey.
Both of these players had solid careers at home and abroad, and lets take a look at why these two are so highly rated by the international media.
Goalkeeper Kasey Keller- #9
Keller had an exceptional career both with the USMNT and his various club sides. His intelligence and expertise in the game has benefited him well after his career as well, given his new role as a TV analyst. During his career, Keller was a standout goalkeeper for a variety of teams at the highest level, starting with English side Millwall in 1992. Keller was in charge of the net at The Den for 4 years before a transfer to Leicester City. In 1999 he moved further abroad, playing for Spanish side Rayo Vallecano, before returning to England to play with Tottenham and Southampton. He later captained German side Borussia Mönchengladbach following his stellar play for the USA in the 2006 World Cup in Germany before finishing his career with Fulham and our beloved Sounders FC.
For the Stars and Stripes, Keller made his debut in 1990. He made enough of an impression to make the roster as a backup for the Italia 1990 World Cup. His most historic match game in 1998 against Brazil, where he kept a clean sheet against the World Champion Brazilians with 5 point blank saves against Romario. He appeared in the 1990, 1998, 2002 and 2006 World Cups for the USMNT.
Forward Clint Dempsey- #3
While Dempsey’s career hasn’t finished, he’s already established himself as one of the best USMNT players in history. Following a breakout 2 seasons with the MLS’ New England Revolutions, Dempsey’s rights were purchased from MLS by Fulham for $4M, then the highest transfer fee for an American player. He joined former USMNT stars Brian McBride and Carlos Bocanegra at Craven Cottage where he carved out an excellent career in England’s top flight. His first goal for Fulham kept the Cottagers from being relegated at the end of the 2007 season. Following a year at Tottenham Hotspur in 2012, he returned to MLS when he joined the Sounders on a 4 year contract with a reported transfer fee of $9M, coming back under the MLS’s Designated Player rule (thanks, David Beckham!). He finished the 2013 season on loan at Fulham, but joined the Sounders in 2014 for his first full season with the Rave Green.
His USA debut came in 2004 during qualification for the 2006 World Cup in Germany. Since then, he has appeared in the 2006, 2010, and 2014 World Cups for the Stars and Stripes, scoring 48 goals in 119 appearances for the USMNT.
It’s easy to see why these 2 were selected by The Guardian as 2 of the Top 25 USMNT players of all time!