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June 17, 2014 at 9:33 AM

Marcus Hahnemann to start in goal for the Sounders throughout the Open Cup

Not long ago, some questioned if the Sounders should make a change at goalkeeper. That is generally an indication that a team has multiple quality options, as Seattle does with starter Stefan Frei and backup Marcus Hahnemann.

Frei has played every minute this MLS season, but as Sounders FC shifts to another competition — the U.S. Open Cup — it will be time for Hahnemann, a 42-year-old Seattle native and former World Cup player to shine.

“We told Marcus we were going to give him the Open Cup,” said coach Sigi Schmid, “and we expect his experience and his abilities in goal to help us and help carry us in those games. It’s something that I know he’s looking forward to and we’re looking forward to, as well. Like I’ve said all along, we’ve got two quality goalkeepers, so it’s good for Marcus to get this opportunity and the opportunity to play here.”

The Sounders host PSA Elite, an amateur club at 7 p.m. Wednesday down at Starfire Stadium in Tukwila.

Not a grand stage or fearful opponent, but Hahnemann talked recently about how any opportunity to represent his hometown club is special, especially as the end of his career nears.

So how has Hahnemann handled the backup role this season?

“He’s handled it well,” Schmid said. “Any player who’s going to be sitting on the bench saying, ‘Man, I love it here,’ that’s not the guy you want. You want them to be upset, to an extent. You want them to want to get after it and get on the field and be disappointed that they’re not. But on the same token, they’re pros, they’ve got to act like pros and they’ve got to understand what’s happening within the team and not disrupt the team.

“Marcus has done all of that. He’s been a good pro. He’s worked hard at training. He’s a guy who wants to play more minutes, so he’s frustrated, but that frustration also makes him work hard. He’s done what I expected anybody in his position to do, but I’m pleased that we have two good goalkeepers.”

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