Sounders FC goalkeeper Marcus Hahnemann is the oldest player on the roster at 41 years old and Zach Scott is one of the oldest field players at 33. I asked both Saturday what went into their decisions to come back, and here is what they said:
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Q: Last time I spoke with you was in the Timbers locker room and you weren’t sure about your future. What happened afterward that led you to coming back?
“Well, I mean, the season ends, and when you lose in the playoffs, it always sucks, you know? It was so quick and final. You’re done. There is no way to explain it, because you’re planning to keep going. Then, all of a sudden, ‘Oh, we’re free next week.’ I don’t know. It’s just kind of weird. Through all the years, you still don’t get used to it. So that day, you just feel kind of funny. There is no way you can make a decision on that. You’re so disappointed with what just happened and everything.
I think it was like a week later where I went for a run, a little trail run where I take my dog. My dog is lazy, so when I’ve run with him, it’s not very fast. It’s three miles, and up and down hills, and the hills are massive, and I came back and I didn’t feel that bad. I said, ‘You know what? I can do this.’ If I can do that pretty much four days a week in the offseason, I can come back and be able to train again. That’s the hard part — you don’t recover as quickly the older you get. So we’re just going to go and hopefully push super hard and see how far we can take it this year. That’s the plan. I felt pretty good in training, a little bit slow, but I think everybody is, you know? That’s the way it is the first day of training.”
Q: Last year was perhaps your best season statistically, but was there ever an internal conversation about whether it was going to be your last?
“No, not an internal dialogue or anything about that. I think whenever the season ends, I just kind of check back in with my family and make sure that everybody is happy with the situation we’re in. We know we’re very blessed to be playing soccer here and making a living out of doing it, (so it’s) just talking to my wife and making sure the kids are good and making sure she’s fine with everything.
“Then the biggest thing after that is, ‘Was I able to stay healthy for most of the year?’ If that’s the case, then I’m going to keep doing it. I’ve always heard from guys who have stopped playing that they don’t regret continuing to play, they always regret stopping. As long as the team will have me back and I can continue to improve and help out, I’m going to keep doing it.”