Marcus Hahnemann says he will be back in goal for the Sounders in 2014.
He posted the following on Twitter Thursday afternoon:
No details of a deal have been posted on the team or league website as of 5:45 p.m. Thursday, though one might assume it's a one-year deal for the 41-year-old keeper. He made $60,000 to be the team's backup in 2013.
One immediate question has to be whether Hahnemann has been promised a chance to be the starter more often in 2014. Michael Gspurning struggled in the final weeks of 2013, leading to Hanhemann taking over for a couple regular-season games and one game in the playoffs - a 2-1 loss to Portland in Seattle.
Despite his late season struggles, which included a couple of hard-to-believe sequences where he whiffed on presumably stoppable goals, Gspurning finished the 2013 regular season eighth in MLS goals-against average at 1.25 goals per game. Gspurning signed a "multi-year" deal with the Sounders in December 2011 that paid him $280,000 in guaranteed compensation in 2013, according to the MLS players union.
Hahnemann has a more impressive resume with his years keeping in the English Premier League and Championship and for the US Men's National Team, but at with Hahnemann now 41, the general consensus seems to be that Gspurning is more mobile and athletic between the pipes for the Sounders at this point in their careers.
Only time will tell if re-signing Hahnemann is the club's attempt to continue to have an established, experienced backup or if its an indication that Gspurning will be moved for salary cap considerations or challenged for the starting role in 2014.
- Scott Ayers