Two of South Sound’s all-time finest soccer players will be honored together tonight at South Sound Stadium.
North Thurston High School will retire Kasey Keller’s jersey in a ceremony at 6:30 p.m., prior to the 7 p.m. Timberline-North Thurston nonleague boys soccer game. The public is welcome to attend.
Keller, in his third and final season with the Seattle Sounders, graduated from North Thurston in 1988. He was the first American goalkeeper to become a regular in the top leagues in England, Spain and Germany.
In addition to Keller, who earned prep All-America honors, the ceremony will honor former Timberline goalkeeper Tom Dutra – Keller’s position coach with the Sounders. Dutra was a three-time selection to the all-league first team for the Blazers. He was inducted into Timberline’s latest hall of fame class Saturday. Both Keller, 41, and Dutra, 38, will be on hand for the ceremony.
Keller announced in December he will retire from professional soccer following the 2011 season. After graduating from North Thurston, he starred at the University of Portland (1988-91), where he was a two-time All-American. In 20 seasons of professional soccer, he’s been named to four U.S. World Cup teams, was a three-time U.S. soccer athlete of the year and a two-time MLS All-Star.
The Sounders, 0-2 so far, play next at 7 p.m. Friday at Qwest Field against the Houston Dynamo.
“It’s his last season, so it’s kind of a cool thing as a sendoff before the season gets going,” North Thurston athletic director Dan Clark said.
Keller is the second North Thurston athlete to have his jersey retired. Mike Sellers, who graduated from North Thurston in 1993, is a fullback with the NFL’s Washington Redskins. He had his jersey during halftime of the Rams’ football playoff victory on Nov. 7, 2008.