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Kasey Keller Named US Soccer Player of the Year


American sports reporters have voted Kasey Keller US soccer player of the year. Keller set goalkeeping records on the U.S. national team this year with nine wins and eight shutouts.

Kasey Keller was named the top U.S. player once before, in 1999, and this year outpolled runner-up London Donovan and third-place contender DaMarcus Beasley in the annual survey of sports journalists for the Honda trophy.

The presentation came Wednesday on Keller's 36th birthday, which makes him a senior player in the sport.

During the regular season, Keller plays with the German Bundesliga, and he tells VOA he looks forward to joining the US team in next year's World Cup games in Germany. He says the United States may have lost its advantage from 2002, when it reached the quarterfinals, to the surprise of many.

"We got a chance against a few teams because they underestimated us, and we know that's not going to happen in this round," Keller said.

He says European teams will have a competitive advantage in next year's World Cup games because they will be playing on their home turf.

But he says the U.S. national team is stronger today than it was in 2002.

"So if we can get the performance, have the ball bounce the right way at the right time, then there's no reason why we can't get out of the first round and see what happens from there," he added.

Keller joins Landon Donovan and Eric Wynalda as the only multiple winners of the U.S. soccer award.

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