There's now a decidedly Seattle flavor to the National Soccer Hall of Fame after Sounders head coach Sigi Schmid and goalkeeper Kasey Keller were inducted on Tuesday. Schmid and Keller are the first members with deep Sounders ties, although former Tacoma Stars player Preki was inducted in 2010 and Michelle Akers was inducted in 2004. Glenn "Mooch" Myernick was the third and final member of the 2015 Hall of Fame class. Chris Henderson was also nominated but did not make the cut.
Keller, who is currently the color commentator on Sounders broadcasts, enjoyed one of the most decorated playing careers is U.S. history. The goalkeeper won 102 caps, participated in four World Cups (1990, 1998, 2002 and 2006) and spent 17 seasons playing in some of Europe's top leagues before finishing his career with the Sounders where he won MLS Goalkeeper of the Year in his final season (2011). This was the first year Keller was eligible for induction.
"It's a great honor," Keller said in the official release. "You look at some of the guys that have been elected before; it's not an easy process. It's not like it's an open-door policy. It's cool to be voted in. I really saw it firsthand, when I was able to speak on (Brian) McBride's behalf, of how cool it is. I'm proud and thankful for the people that helped get me to that point throughout my career: teammates, coaches, friends, family. It's kind of a culmination of what you've done and how you got there and all the people that helped you get to get to that point, so I'm thankful for that."
Schmid, the only head coach in the Sounders' MLS history, has a resume that stretches back 35 years. He's the winningest coach in MLS history, has led his teams to five U.S. Open Cups (2001, 2009-11, 2014), is the only MLS coach to have won the CONCACAF Champions Cup, has three Supporters' Shields and has twice won MLS Cup.
"It's certainly right up there with the top moments I've experienced in this sport," Schmid said about being named to the Hall of Fame in a Q&A with U.S. Soccer. "It's a reflection of your peers acknowledging what you've done, and it's a reflection of the body of your work, so this is something I am very proud of."