We just got about a half-hour worth of conference call with new Sounders goalkeeper Michael Gspurning and coach Sigi Schmid.
Some highlights are available at twitter.com/donruiztnt. Next, I’ll add Sigi quotes in a later post. However, the main takeaways was the Gspurning comes off as a talkative nice-guy, whose accent sounds a bit like Sebastien Le Toux. He and Schmid say the club and keeper made first contact about a year ago. Gspurning sounds excited to be a Sounder and says he hopes to stay four or five seasons.
Schmid said Gspurning will go into training next month as the presumed starter, but then he will have to play up to that responsibility. Schmid said he has faith in 2011 rookies Bryan Meredith and Josh Ford, but that another more-experienced keeper might also be brought in. He also said another international addition to the roster is always a possibility.
Here is some of it in Gspurning’s own words:
On his visit to Seattle for Sounders game: “Everything impressed me. From the moment I was there I was thinking, yeah, this is a good possibility for me to play professional soccer, to make the next step in my career.”
On his style: I’m very tall, as you know, and for this reason I can catch some balls – I don’t want to say easily way – but with a way very economic, where maybe a small goalkeeper makes a big save and it looks very good in the television. I can avoid a save like this, but of course the strikes aren’t always so nice to me that they shoot easily balls, and for this reason I have to make some saves also in the corner.
On following Kasey Keller: If you know soccer you know the name Kasey Keller. He played in the biggest leagues of Europe, and he is of course a hero in Seattle because it is his hometown. … On the other side, for me it’s a big challenge. It’s a big task to be the guy who’s playing now and be the goalkeeper in Seattle after Kasey. But for myself … it doesn’t help me if I (think) ‘Kasey’s the hero, I have to be like Kasey.’ This is the wrong way to face the situation. I think with my international experience – I have also international caps – I have a lot of experience to be myself. If you want to change somebody’s goalkeeper, it doesn’t work. I have my way of playing. I have to bring my performance. If I play like the last year in Greece, we will have a lot of success also. … After a few months, people will say, ‘Hey, we had Kasey. He is an idol. He is a legend. But now we have Michael playing, and he is also great.’ If I achieve this I accomplished my mission and we will both be fine.
On how long he wants to stay: You can’t plan in soccer your career. But if I was there in Seattle … five years it would be great. … Maybe I never want to go. You have to kick me out.
His impressions from Sounders-FC San Francisco match: The quality of the football was very good. It was good soccer, and the quality and the level was very high from the players.