Kasey Keller squeezed just about everything into a 22-year professional career. Over a century of caps and four World Cups for the USA, cutting his teeth at Millwall, glory days at Leicester, 83 consecutive starts at Spurs, the first American to play in La Liga and a title challenge with Rayo Valecano, only the second American to captain a Bundesliga side during his time at Borussia Monchengladbach before a hero’s return home to Seattle, where he played until he was 41. He even lived in a castle during his time in Germany!
As part of Martin O’Neill’s golden spell at the old Filbert Street in the late 1990s, Kasey helped the Foxes lift their first trophy in 28 years – the League Cup in 1997 – and clinch three-successive top 10 finishes in the Premier League. He was also in goal for Leicester against is in the League Cup Final in 1999, won by Allan Nielsen’s late, late diving header. Kasey later played in the final game at Filbert Street as a Spurs player in May, 2002 and then had a game he’ll never forget in our first visit to the all-new Walkers Stadium, as it was then (now King Power Stadium) back in October, 2003.
After two years in Spain with Rayo Vallecano, Keller returned to England with Tottenham in 2001. Signed as a back-up to Neil Sullivan, who at the time was the club’s player of the season, he took a while to establish himself at White Hart Lane and wasn’t helped by playing behind an often mediocre defence. Spurs fans retain grim memories of the 2003-04 season when Glenn Hoddle was sacked in September with the club in 17th place. Under caretaker David Pleat they stayed in the bottom half for almost the entire season and finished 14th. Through an unstable period, Keller was seen as sound and reliable, often making last-ditch blocks with legs and feet to bail out team-mates.
At the age of 38 Keller finally made his MLS debut with Seattle Sounders where he stayed for the next two seasons before retiring.
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