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Tag: Gspurning


Gspurning nails why CCL is so much fun


There are likely to be a lot more empty seats than full ones tonight at CenturyLink Field, when the Sounders open group play in CONCACAF Champions League against Caledonia AIA of Trinidad.

Which I can hardly understand. I love Champions League. I love learning about clubs I’ve hardly (sometimes never) heard of before: their histories, stadiums, kits and crests. I love the international aspect of soccer. I love the idea that if Martians came down and asked us Earthlings what sport we like, the most common answer around the globe would be soccer.

So, I also loved the response from Sounders keeper Michael Gspurning yesterday, when he was asked about his first CCL experience:

It’s one of the great things that I’m very interested in and excited for. Of course, you play against the big names and the huge teams of Mexico. But also the other teams. I was sitting in Europe and thinking, ‘Hey, maybe you go to Costa Rica or Trinidad somewhere. Maybe you play on pitched you never have seen before.’ But this is also a side of soccer that is a part that I want to see. I know that not everything will be perfect, maybe, on the away games: long trips and everything. But it’s also part of soccer for what I was dreaming as a child. It’s a great experience to go to these countries and see the different style. It’s a target to show them that American soccer is better than the rest of the continent.

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Schmid talks about new goalkeeper Gspurning … and possible other offseason moves

We got about 20 minutes on the phone today with Sounders coach Sigi Schmid, talking about the signing of new goalkeeper Michael Gspurning and other off-season personnel moves.

Here’s most of that conversation:

On the pursuit of Gspurning, which he says began while on a European trip with his wife about a year ago: We wanted to bring in an experienced keeper, a veteran keeper, a keeper who brought some experience with him.

On if Gspurning will be the starter: Our expectation is that he’s going to be able to start. That’s the reason that we’re bringing him in.

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New goalkeeper discusses signing with Sounders

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 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

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Sounders confirm Gspurning as new goalkeeper

Michael Gspurning’s name has been associated with the Sounders’ newly open goalkeeper position for quite some time, and today the club made it official: the Austrian 30-year-old will take Kasey Keller’s spot in goal next season.

Gspurning is an Austrian who has been playing in Greece. He is 6-foot-5. Here is some of his work from YouTube. Here is the release from the club:

Seattle Sounders FC has signed Austrian goalkeeper Michael Gspurning, it was announced today. Per Major League Soccer and club policy, terms were not disclosed. Gspurning will be added to the roster pending receipt of his International Clearance.

Gspurning (pronounced guh-SHPURN-ing), 30, has been capped three times by Austria and played the past four seasons for Skoda Xanthi of Greece’s top flight.

“First off, you don’t replace Kasey Keller. What you’re looking for is a new goalkeeper,” said Sounders FC head coach Sigi Schmid. “We like Michael’s background and pedigree. We like his size. He’s got good feet so we can play through him and he’s very good on crosses, takes good angles and has good hands.”

Gspurning has made 96 career appearances in the top leagues in Austria and Greece and was a two-time All-Star in Greece’s Super League.

“There are many reasons I want to come to Seattle,” said Gspurning. “It is a very good team that plays in many competitions and Seattle has the best fans in Major League Soccer. When I think about the task in the next year, I feel very confident to come over and have the opportunity to be the new number one, and have success with the Sounders.

“I like to keep goal in difficult situations and make saves. With my height I am good at crosses and a solid goalkeeper. I like to push the team in a positive way. I want to help the Sounders and all of my teammates to play better. I can’t wait to come over to Seattle.”

The six-foot, five-inch Gspurning played his first several seasons in Austria, beginning in Austria Wien’s youth system and then DSV Leoben before joining ASKO Pasching of the Austrian Bundesliga in 2004. He was named the best goalkeeper in Austria’s First Division (second-highest league) in 2003/04 and had several call-ins to the Austria U-21 National Team.

Gspurning joined Skoda Xanthi in 2007 and became the first-choice keeper, playing 89 matches in his four seasons, including a career-high 29 in 2009/10. He posted 16 shutouts in 26 matches in 2008/09 and currently holds the record in Greece’s Super League for the longest road shutout streak at eight games. He was twice honored as the top foreign goalkeeper, playing in both All-Star games.

At Skoda Xanthi, Gspurning earned his first call-in to the Austria National Team. He made his international debut against Turkey in a 2008 friendly and started two World Cup qualifiers the following year, a 2-1 win over Romania and a 1-nil loss to eventual group-winners Serbia.

Gspurning will report to Seattle for preseason training camp in January.

Transaction: Seattle Sounders FC (MLS) – Signed GK Michael Gspurning

Michael Gspurning
Position: Goalkeeper
Height: 6’5
Weight: 209
Birthdate: 5/2/1981
Place of Birth: Graz, Austria
Hometown (Citizenship): Graz (Austria)
Pronunciation: guh-SHPURN-ing
Last Club: Skoda Xanthi FC (2007-11)
Previous Clubs (chronological): DSV Leoben (2001-04), ASKO Pasching (2004-06)

We hope to get some time to talk with Gspurning and Sigi Schmid or goalkeeper coach Tom Dutra later today. However, for now, there is an Adrian Hanauer quote in the link above, and here are a couple of old — but relevant — ones from Schmid and Keller:

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