Players often dream of ending their careers while hoisting a trophy. Marcus Hahnemann didn't get to do that, but his final appearance was arguably better.
Fresh off stopping a pair of penalties in a shootout with the San Jose Earthquakes in a U.S. Open Cup match at Starfire Sports Complex, Hahnemann headed over to the nearby beer garden for a refreshment. He, of course, had no money on his person -- not that anyone would have allowed him to pay anyway -- so he traded his shirt for a beer. It took him about 5 seconds to empty the cup.
We didn't know it at the time, but it's fitting that that was his final Seattle Sounders appearance. Late Wednesday night, Hahnemann announced his retirement through his Instagram account, actually breaking the news there before he had even officially told the Sounders about his plans. The Sounders eventually confirmed the news at Thursdays end-of-season press conference.
Hahnemann's Sounders career was, admittedly, short on highlights, but the Seattle-area native is probably satisfied with how it went. When he signed with the Sounders in late 2012, he was already retired after not making a league appearance with Everton. But after the Sounders were able to get him through the Allocation Order, he worked to get himself back into shape and even played a couple games in CONCACAF Champions League. Although Hahnemann had played for the old A-League Sounders, it was his first appearance for the MLS club and something he called "an awesome experience."
Hahnemann would go on to make a handful of league appearances for the Sounders in 2013, even started a playoff game -- a 2-1 loss to the Portland Timbers -- and did his part to help earn Seattle their fourth U.S. Open Cup this year. But the lasting memories we'll associate with Hahnemann are mostly off the field. There's the beer-drinking celebration, his getting red-carded while on the bench against Sporting Kansas City, and the immeasurable contributions he made to the Sounders' locker room.
That's not to say Hahnemann's on-field career was anything short of impressive. He was among the American trail blazers in Europe, moving to Fulham in 1999 and eventually making 276 league appearances in England. Along the way, he also made two World Cup rosters and earned nine USMNT caps, having the misfortune to be in his prime during a golden era of American keepers.
Hahnemann may have only played sporadically over parts of three seasons with the MLS Sounders, but his impact was surely felt. Now, he can hopefully finish that tree house he's been talking about.