Sitting in the stands among the record crowd of 64,140 at CenturyLink Field this past Saturday, I was transported back to 1989…
Clive Charles and I are standing on the first tee at Half Moon Bay Golf Links and all he wants to do is talk about is this fabulously talented goalkeeper he has in Portland. “All the skills, all the tools, all the possibilities and an unlimited potential. He is going to be incredible. He can do it all. I am so impressed with this guy. All he needs is a chance.” He hits his tee shot down the s- curved par five and continues to ramble on about getting this kid a chance in Europe. By the fifth hole he is hitting a left-handed five wood out of a flat sand trap two hundred yards over water 10 feet from the pin and says “that’s how good Kasey Keller is going to be!”
It was the truth!!!!!
In 1989, Clive Charles was Kasey Keller’s coach at University of Portland. Clive passed away too early a few years ago but he was there in spirit among the record-breaking crowd on Saturday for Keller’s last regular season home game with the Seattle SoundersFC.
Kasey and Clive will be linked forever through youth soccer. What these two represent speaks volumes about talent, inspiration, mentorship, dedication and professionalism. Clive believed in Kasey and Kasey never let Clive down.
This is their story but it happens year after year in youth soccer with hundreds of youth across the country. A player has a coach who believes in them, encourages them – and that player achieves great things because of it. Those great things may be an opportunity for a career in soccer or it may be a player’s first goal.
It starts with a passion. It grows with practice. It grows with playing. It grows with coaching and mentoring. Soccer is a lifestyle that connects people in very special and unique ways. Soccer creates great moments for yourself, your teammates, your family, your friends, and sometimes even for your fans.
The game gives back to you exactly what you are willing to invest. So as we take time this week to reflect of Kasey’s fantastic career and offer him congratulations, get out there and build your legacy in the game!
And- yes- Clive made the putt for a birdie to win the hole just like Kasey would have done!
For complete details on Kasey’s long and decorated career, visit the Seattle Sounders FC team page.