Monday, March 16, 2009

Keel Signs with Portland Timbers

Less than 24 hours after his release from the Rapids, defender Stephen Keel wasted no time finding an outlet to continue his professional career.

The Portland Timbers of the United Soccer League First Division announced that the Littleton native would be joining their club. Keel played all 90 minutes in the Timbers 0-1 exhibition game loss to the San Jose Earthquakes this past Saturday.

"Stephen was a terrific lad and a gentleman," said Rapids head coach Gary Smith after training on Monday. "He was hard working and an honest professional. I thought he served the club well. Being a local boy I am sure there will be some disappointment, but he has a fabulous opportunity to play regular football and certainly with a club that is pushing for their own MLS franchise."

The Timbers kick off their season on Saturday, April 25 against the Vancouver Whitecaps at Swangard Stadium.

1 comment:

Glenn said...

Losing Stephen Keel is a huge disappointment for my family and me. All three of our children play for the RUSH soccer club in Littleton where Stephen started. For a club supposedly trying to build a fan base, the Rapids giving up a local hero like Keel is just plain stupid. They should have played him more, started him more and paid him more.

It might be the "world's game" and all. But, nothing builds loyalty like having the likes of Stephen Keel, Conor Casey and Colin Clark on a local team. Doesn't anyone at the Rapids or at Dick's Sporting Goods pay attention to marketing? You idiots just squandered an amazing opportunity to attract fans.

Soccer should be way bigger and more popular than it is. And, if you can't take advantage of fortunate situations like having three Colorado natives on the Denver team, you need to hire someone in the main office who can figure this out.

Anyway, we wish Stephen the best in his new adventure with the Timbers. We're just really saddened that the Rapids just made professional soccer that much less interesting and exciting for many locals.