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.