Sounders FC is heading into another week mixing international and league matches, which could mean minutes available for players well down the roster.
One exception could be reserve goalkeeper Terry Boss, who has played 45 minutes in this MLS regular season and has drawn one other appearance through seven U.S. Open Cup and CONCACAF Champions League matches.
That heavy dependence on starting keeper Kasey Keller seems to have surprised even Seattle goalkeeper coach Tom Dutra.
“Maybe you go into the season thinking, ‘These are the games we’d like you to play,’ and whatnot,” Dutra said last week. “... We’ve been very lucky that Kasey has been healthy. We haven’t had to call upon Terry there. But yeah, it’s tough for him, for sure.”
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Boss will be available on Tuesday when the Sounders play a CONCACAF Champions League match at Saprissa of Costa Rica, and again Saturday when the team returns to MLS play at Columbus.
Whether he is called upon is another matter. But Boss said he understands that the role of a No. 2 goalkeeper is to be ready.
“Whether I play or don’t play, I can’t control that,” Boss said. “That’s (coach Sigi Schmid’s) decision, and if his decision is for me to sit, I’m going to sit with a smile on my face, and I’m going to work the next day and get better. If his decision is for me to play, I’m going to make the best of the opportunity.
“I’m going to control the controllables and do what I can.”
Practice habits are something Boss can control. And he seems to be making the most of those opportunities to improve and impress.
“It’s why I’m on him every day about staying sharp,” Dutra said. “When he’s called upon, he’s done the job. ... We are very confident that Terry can do the job, but Kasey’s our guy.”
In 135 minutes of competitive play this season, Boss has faced four shots and made three saves. His goals-against average is 0.67.
At age 29 and with stops at seven professional clubs, he should be in the prime of his career. Yet few opportunities have come his way in Seattle. And that doesn’t seem about to change with Keller expressing a desire to return next season.
However, even with two starting goalkeeping jobs coming open next season when Portland and Vancouver join the league, the Oregon native said he hopes to remain with the Sounders as long as they’ll have him.
“I’m a happy member of the Seattle Sounders, and I’d love to finish my career here,” Boss said. “It’s a great city, great fan base, close to my family.
“I couldn’t be happier, and I couldn’t be in a better spot. So, I’m going to do my best to stay here.”
Tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. today for the Sounders’ friendly with CD Chivas de Guadalajara on Oct. 12 at Qwest Field. ... Designated player Alvaro Fernandez is expected to meet the Sounders in Costa Rica today after being given time off to return to his home in Uruguay where his wife last week gave birth to a son, the couple’s first child. ... The start time of the Sounders’ U.S. Open Cup final match against Columbus on Oct. 5 at Qwest Field has been changed to 7 p.m.