Late goals give Seattle, Keller 2-1 win

By Tim Booth

Associated Press

Published: Saturday, Oct. 15 2011 10:46 p.m. MDT

Fans show support for Seattle Sounders FC goalkeeper Kasey Keller prior to a MLS soccer match against the San Jose Earthquakes, Saturday, Oct. 15, 2011, in Seattle. The game is Keller's final regular season home game before retirement.

Ted S. Warren, Associated Press

SEATTLE — Sammy Ochoa and Fredy Montero scored in the final 10 minutes and sent retiring goalkeeper Kasey Keller out with a victory in his final regular-season home match, helping the Seattle Sounders FC rally for a 2-1 win over San Jose on Saturday night.

Ochoa pulled the Sounders even in the 82nd minute when he collected a pass from Mauro Rosales and drilled a right-footed shot off the post and past goalkeeper Jon Busch. Five minutes later, Montero took a pass from Lamar Neagle and chipped his shot past Busch to give the Sounders an unlikely victory.

Chris Wondolowski scored in the 24th minute for San Jose and silenced the 64,140 in attendance, the third largest single-game crowd in Major League Soccer history. But Keller made a handful of saves that showed despite his age he's going out as still one of the top goalkeeper's in the league.

This wasn't Keller's final home game as Seattle already wrapped up second place in the Western Conference and will host the second-leg of a semifinal playoff series, currently lined up to be against Real Salt Lake.

But it was the chance to honor his two decades of professional soccer. Keller was the first American to play on a U.S. passport in England and added firsts during other stops in his career playing at the highest levels in Spain and Germany. Then he returned to Seattle to lead the Sounders for their first three seasons.

The crowd was just a small symbol of acknowledgment for what Keller has accomplished. He was feted with a pair of bronzed goalkeeper gloves, a motorcycle and an all-terrain vehicle by the team following the victory as the massive crowd chanted "Kasey Keller."

And it all came after one of his finest performances.

The only reason Seattle stayed within 1-0 at halftime was thanks to Keller. He saved a pair of shots from distance in the opening minutes, then made a remarkable save with his right hand, scooping Wondolowski's header off the goal line and away from danger in the 43rd minute.

His sequence in the second half was even better and at least gave Seattle a chance at scoring late and salvaging a draw.

It came in the 65th minute when Keller ran out and slid to push away a flubbed pass by Patrick Ianni. He bounced up and immediately stopped one shot well out from his net, then made another diving save and finally was able to shove the ball away from danger.

The rapid saves drew a standing ovation and gave Seattle a chance to pull even late.

Ochoa was barely onside when he got the pass from Rosales and one-timed his shot past Busch. Rosales was playing for the first time in three games after suffering a sprained knee last month. Montero's goal was his 12th of the season.

And for good measure, Keller added a save on Bobby Burling's header in the 90th minute to ensure the victory.

Follow Tim Booth on Twitter: http://twitter.com/ByTimBooth

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