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Player Profile #9: Michael Gspurning

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He's big, he's tall, he's nothing else like the man he replaced.

Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

Michael Gspurning had to try to replace Keller. On the field, he did a fine job. Off the field, he quickly adopted Seattle as a kind of home.

#9 Michael Gspurning
Nat'l Affil Austria Age 32
Years Pro 14 Years Sounder 2
Pos/Role Goalkeeper
MLS (+Playoff) Stats CCL/USOC Stats Reserve Stats
Apps 30 3 0
Starts 30 3 0
Mins 2650 270 0

#9 Michael Gspurning

Unfortunately for Gspurning, good 'keepers are fairly common in MLS, and at cheaper rates. That means the Austrian is on his way looking for a new club and his time as one of the great public personalities on social media will be a bit more distant.

Shot Stopping: Not a great reaction saver, instead having to focus on positioning and a huge frame. The frame was an occasional problem. Still, Gspurning's save percentage and goals against rates in his two years with the club were somewhere between good and great.

Distribution: This may be the dark art of keeping in American soccer. That could be why Michael was so good at it. He was accurate on long balls, but also mixed in short throws with great effectiveness. Played better with the ball at his feet than any other keeper in MLS in 2013.

Leadership: Other frequent starters for Seattle were much more vocal than the Austrian. It's tough to blame the issues with the out-of-position backline on Gspurning, but failed traps and CBs playing too high happened more frequently with Michael in charge than other keepers.

Best Case 2014: Gspurning still has time left, but to get the salary number he wants, he will have to do that in a foreign land, where he'll almost certainly start.