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October 22, 2012 at 4:01 PM

Another chat with Marcus Hahnemann

Hahnemann mug 2012.jpgReporters got a chance to catch up Sounders FC goalkeeper Marcus Hahnemann after Monday’s practice. The veteran has been on the bench the past two league games and could be in line to start Wednesday in Seattle’s final CONCACAF Champions League group game (coach Sigi Schmid hasn’t committed to a starter yet).

Here’s a transcript of our conversation with the Seattle native:

* * *

(Your coach didn’t commit to a starting goalkeeper for Wednesday’s game, but you’re ready if you get the call?) “Yeah. I feel really good. These last couple weeks I’ve been training really hard. Finally, everything is starting to click. I think every day I’m getting sharper. Today I felt really good again. Yesterday we warmed up with the team and I’ve been on the bench the last two games. It’s been great being a part of the team and being a part of the crowd. I can’t wait for Wednesday if I get a chance to be on the field.”

(Have you thought about how it would feel after so long?) “Alan Hinton came up to me and said, ‘Oh, you’re going to make your debut, maybe! What do you think?’ And I go, ‘It’s not my debut. I’ve already played for the Sounders.’ I go, ‘You should know that!’ I’ve played a couple games before, but the whole atmosphere at the stadium, and Sunday was Fan Appreciation Day — the fans are unbelievable. … They’re all singing in the crowd and they’re all doing the cheers — the whole stadium. It’s not just the ECS. That’s great to see. Just the atmosphere, it’s fun to go to the games. We feed off of that, as well. Other teams when they come here, I think they’re a bit jealous of it. Hopefully we get the right seeding in the playoffs and we can have our home games here.”

(On what’s been different in the past few weeks for him…) “It was just my body was screaming at me a bit more. Now it’s a bit fitter and getting used to diving around again. I feel about right now. We’ve had a month and that’s usually what you kind of look at preseason-wise to get yourself going, so I feel great even though I had a longer time off. So this is that month period, which is over, and I feel good now.”

(How many family members are on call if you play?) “Last game I had 34 tickets or 35 tickets. I think my wife ordered 34, and then I came to (team services director Vince Johnson) and go, ‘Vince, I think I need one more.’ He goes, ’35?’ But he doesn’t even ask me anymore. He just emails the wife, because I don’t know any of that stuff. I just go and show up and that’s it, and she deals with all that stuff.”

(Glad the Seattle weather is here for possible your first game this season?) “Yeah, it’s perfect. Everybody was hating that two months of sunshine and 80 degrees. It was terrible. Top-off Jeeps in September — everyone hates it. This is back to normal. (laughs)”

(How are things different on the bench?) “Well, I mean obviously you feel a lot more a part of it. And you are closer to the action, so instead of just sitting there biting your tongue, I’m yelling at guys when to push up. So you definitely feel more a part of it. You’re trying to help out guys in when to step up and try to give my somewhat million years of experience to some of the guys.”

(From what you’ve seen, has the league has changed a lot?) “Oh definitely. It’s gotten way better. All you have to do is come out and watch training; you’ll see how deep our team is. … (Academy product Darwin Jones) is just trying to get a spot on our team and he’d be pushing for a starting spot back then. I think he’s a really good young kid. It’s great to see him out there because he’s good, and he’s going to get better everyday, and hopefully soon we can sign him and give him a deal.”

(What would playing Wednesday mean to you?) “It’d be unbelievable because for that while there I thought it wasn’t going to happen, and all of a sudden you kind of get that little lifeline to maybe come back and be in Seattle. When you step on the field, it becomes real. Being a sub at least, it’s closer, but actually playing is I think the ultimate. Most of the fans would give their right arm, their first born to step on that field — I’m one of them. I never take anything for granted. Just to go out one more time it would all be worth it.”

(Did you remember your last game?) “I bet it was Stoke-Wolverhampton. … A cup game.”

(What do you think of the ECS?) “Yeah, it’s awesome. They’re so into the game. It’s amazing. Being back with the Sounders in the 90s, and I think a lot of guys in the 80s never thought it’d be like it is now. It’s as good as everywhere in the world. You come down and what do we average? 43,000 this season? That’s not some gimmick. Those are real games. 66,000 against Portland? That’s not a playoff game. It’s just a league game against our rivals. That’s what it’s about. It’s awesome.”

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