I got to catch up with Sounders FC goalkeeper Marcus Hahnemann after Saturday’s 2-1 road win at Toronto FC. He, of course, made a win-preserving save in stoppage time that has been nominated for MLS Save of the Week (see above).
Hahnemann didn’t have to make a save in his first game in the starting lineup, a 3-0 win against FC Dallas on Aug. 3, but was much busier at BMO Field.
“I had an easy game (against Dallas), thank god — there’s no question about that,” he said. “The guys in front of me played great, had a couple of crosses, that was it and some back passes. This was obviously a different story. A lot more crosses, but away from home is always going to be like that. You’re always going to be under more pressure, usually until the last minute, no matter what. Unless you score and have a two-goal lead or something, that’s what it’s like.
“I’m just happy. I had a good week of training this week, and I needed that because Michael (Gspurning) is coming back and I’m keeping a good keeper out of the goal, which is I think a good problem to have for us. A little bit of different timing would have been better, but that’s the way it goes. I’m happy to get another chance in goal and playing in front of these guys. I have a great team. It’s awesome.”
My followup question involved this being his biggest moment with the Sounders, but Hahnemann quickly interjected.
“My biggest Sounder moment was lifting up the trophy at Memorial Stadium,” he said, having won A-League championships here in 1995 and 1996.
I frantically clarified that I meant his Sounders career: Part 2, and continued by asking how it felt to have his role in back-to-back wins overshadowed a bit by the headline-dominating acquisition of Clint Dempsey.
“Yeah, it is what it is,” Hahnemann said. “Forwards always get the accolades, no matter what. Unless it’s a nil-nil, boring game, where you had no shots on goal and I had 20 saves, then they go, ‘Oh my gosh, what a great game he had.’ That’s the only time you want to talk to us goalies. But it is what it is. It’s unbelievable that our ownership stepped up to the plate and got a player like Clint.
“Everybody was surprised. Everybody thought it was just a joke, a publicity stunt. That’s what they thought. You probably thought the same thing. I thought it was a joke. I didn’t think there was any way we were going to get him. It seemed so farfetched, but that’s the precedent for other teams — that guys don’t have to go and spend their whole careers in Europe, like I did pretty much. As soon as I had a chance to go over, because the money is so much better… goalkeepers we always get a little bit shafted in that sense with the money side, so that’s why we went over originally, because there was no real money here. To see that come back, everyone was just shocked.”
Time for some goalkeepers as designated players?
“Let’s not go too far,” he said with a smile.