Following two games on the bench, Michael Gspurning returned as Sounders FC’s starting goalkeeper in Sunday’s 1-1 tie against the Los Angeles Galaxy. He made four saves and put in, by most accounts, a solid performance — even if he fell one shutout short of tying Kasey Keller‘s franchise record of 11 in a season.
“I think we saw the goalkeeper who was averaging less than a goal for 40-plus games,” said coach Sigi Schmid, juxtaposing it to a two-game stretch where Gspurning allowed nine goals in two games.
A nice endorsement, but Schmid didn’t go so far to say the 6-foot-5 Austrian had won the job back for good: “We’ll make a decision. I thought Michael did well, I thought he came up with a couple of big saves … but we’re going to continue to work this week. He worked hard at training today. Marcus (Hahnemann) worked hard, as well. So it’s a competition.”
Gspurning, for his part, was feeling good after his return to the lineup. He said he used the time off to “push the reset button” and go back to basics in training. Getting back on the field was most important.
“It feels good, of course, that I had this good game,” Gspurning added, “but Wednesday is a new game and that’s the only way to look at it.”
Schmid noted last week that the team would ideally settle on one goalkeeper going forward, and certainly it appears Gspurning did nothing to lose the job, but what do you think?
Time to settle in with one guy or keep the competition open?