A Red-Faced Keller Is Probably Still Kicking Himself Over This

It happens maybe once a year, Kasey Keller said, but no, it had never happened to him.

It shouldn't have happened, said U.S. Coach Steve Sampson, but it was only partly Keller's fault.

It was a goal, the game's first in Sunday's 2-2 tie with Mexico, and the most embarrassing of Keller's career. He was sent the ball by defender Alexi Lalas just to get a feel of it, then juggled it briefly with his right foot and sent it back downfield . . .

. . . Into the head of Mexico's Carlos Hermosillo, who knocked it into the U.S. goal.

Mexico 1, United States 0, and 89 minutes 21 seconds of a World Cup qualifying match remained to be played.

"Embarrassed? Sure I was embarrassed," Keller said. "If you aren't embarrassed by that, you aren't competitive. . . . If only I had kicked it six inches higher."

Or had some help, said Sampson, who chided his defenders for not being back to receive a clearing pass from Keller.

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