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Keller the Big Veteran in Venezuela

As headlines like "Be Very Afraid" (SI.com) float around the Internet describing Argentina's expected trouncing of the United States' inexperienced American Copa America squad, one man will be carrying nearly all the weight of experience on his big shoulders tonight: goalkeeper Kasey Keller, who talks with the L.A. Times' Grahame L. Jones.

"If anyone can thwart Lionel Messi, Hernan Crespo, Juan Sebastian Veron, Carlos Tevez and the rest of the high-octane Argentine attack, it's Keller," Jones says. Indeed, the United States' chances sound a little better when you consider that Keller has recorded 47 shutouts in 100 appearances for the Red White and Blue, posting an impressive 0.77 goals against average in an international career that began in 1990.

"To get 100 caps as a goalkeeper for the U.S. team, I think that's pretty special with the amount of talented goalies we've had," Keller says, referring to the likes of Brad Friedel and Tony Meola and now, Tim Howard. Keller, now 37, has spent the last 15 years playing in Europe's biggest leagues, but now finds himself unemployed. Keller tells Jones that MLS isn't in the running: "I remember somebody talking to Michael Schumacher about racing in America. He said, 'Why? No disrespect, but you think NASCAR is Formula One? It's not. You can't compare it," Keller says, following with, "it's absolutely no disrespect to MLS."

Read the whole story at Los Angeles Times »

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