Kickin' It With Kasey Keller
Highlights of this week's Q&A with Sounders FC's goalkeeper.
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Today, in the final installment or our season-long feature, Sounders FC's goalkeeper talks about post-retirement plans, Twitter, Halloween and more with online sports producer Bob Wickwire.
Q: What are you going to miss the most after you retire?
Keller:I think it will be the buzz after a game. You see during a game and before a game as a goalkeeper it's all nerves and so I'm not going to miss that at all. That's what I'll truly enjoy not having is the whole preparation, say Friday afternoon, where you're just thinking, "Alright, I'm getting ready for Saturday evening and I'm not going to do that or not going to do that or that ... okay, I can't do anything..." I'm going to be so happy to get rid of that. ...
If you're coaching or doing TV or radio or whatever, yeah, you have to do your little bit of preparation for a game but it's not a physical thing. ... But, it's not, "Oh I can't go have a couple drinks with my friends who are in town on Friday night or..."
I'll definitely miss training. I won't miss the day-to-day coming into training ... but, there's no question that I'll miss that feeling after the game and accomplishing something and winning and the buzz that comes with that. ...
I didn't think it would be as difficult as it was watching the World Cup in 2010, not being a part of it after so many years. And I assume it will be exactly the same next season as the season starts. And like I said, there will be lots of things that I'm happy I'm not a part of anymore, but I will definitely miss that, "Alright, the game is over, the team won and I wasn't a part of it."
Q: Can you share any general plans you'll have in retirement next year?
Keller: I've been contacted by different organizations. I'm joining the board of Special Olympics of Washington, so there will definitely be some charitable work.
The one thing that I've always tried to stress is if I'm going to be a part of something, I actually want to be a part of it. I don't want to just put my name to something and then not be able to make the commitment to do what is asked of me.
Q: Hypothetically, have you given more thought to one or two things, for example, broadcasting, coaching, etc.?
Keller: I did a lot work for Sky TV in England, so on the communications side of stuff I feel that would be an easy route to go and one I think I would enjoy doing. At the same time, I also feel with the experiences that I've gained with all the different managers I've had — all the different situations from England to Spain to Germany to national team — I also feel that at some time I'd probably like to get into the coaching side. ... But then I also feel like I could go backroom (front office) as well.
So, I don't want to necessarily say this is exactly what I want to do, because I don't know what I'm going to enjoy and I don't know what direction is ... going to feel right and be right for my family as well.
Everybody knows that coaching is a merry-go-round. There's also a situation where my kids are freshmen in high school and this is their fifth school in their fourth country and do I really want to now start bouncing them around [again]. So there are a lot of different scenarios in play.
The plan from the first minute we moved back was to come back to an organization that I felt that it was right for them and right for me to stay in the organization for a long time.
And that was another big part of the conversation I had with Tod [Leiweke]. It's a case of yeah, I was a successful player, but I'm not going to retire and have just insanes amount of money floating around to go do whatever I want to do. And at the same time, I would absolutely be bored out of my mind and not be a part of the game.
I always felt the big reason I moved home to finish my career was to kind of figure out what I was going to do when I was done playing and I truly believe I made the right decision to come back to Seattle and with this franchise.
Q: In less than two years, Arlo White has become one of the top soccer broadcasters in the game and wanted to get your thoughts?
Keller: First and foremost, Arlo is a good friend of mine. It never hurts when you get somebody to come in who immediately just endears himself to pretty much everybody. And I think he's given a great amount of legitimacy to the broadcasts.
We have a good rapport, and it doesn't hurt that being a Leicester City fan, with me playing at Leicester City, we go back a long way.
I think he's a bit of a stalker personally, but it's alright. (laughing)
Q: You joined the Twitter ranks a few months ago. What's your take on it and social media?
Keller: I think social media has its place, and it can also get you in a whole lot of trouble. You can say something and you can print something and it means two totally different things. And once it's in print and it's quite clear you weren't misquoted, that you wrote it, you might have meant something different, but it's there forever.
There are kids not getting into the college of their choice because of the stupid stuff they've put on the Internet, there's kids getting arrested because of the stupid stuff they put on the Internet. It's definitely something to take far more responsibly than people do.
I use it to connect with the fans a little bit. ... If I think of something cool or funny or whatever to put out there, then great.
If you're looking for someone that's going to do 50 things a day about the most random trivial things, then that's not coming out of me.
Q: Halloween is coming up. What was your favorite costume growing up or later on?
Keller: I had a good mummy outfit one time.
I also think Halloween should have a little bit of a dark side. ... I was a big horror movie fan as a kid.
I think Halloween, the more blood the better (chuckles).
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