Keller quells Fire in Seattle's victory

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Keller quells Fire in Seattle's victory

Saturday, April 9, 2011
Posted: 6:16 p.m.

By Dieter Kurtenbach
CSNChicago.com

SEATTLE Goals from Steve Zakuani and OBrian White gave the Seattle Sounders the lead, and critical saves from Kasey Keller preserved it, as Seattle won its first game of the season 2-1 over the Chicago Fire Saturday at Qwest Field.

White put Seattle on the board in the seventh minute, using a precision cross from Mauro Rosales, whose service found Whites head 16 yards from goal, and the Jamaican striker, despite being double-marked, expertly bent the header inside the goalpost.

The Fire responded a minute later, with Patrick Nyarko streaking up the right flank and sending a low cross into the box. Diego Chaves found the other end of the pass and, with a deft touch, slid the ball past Keller to equalize, quieting the raucous Qwest Field crowd.

Chaves has now scored in each of his first three games for the Fire, becoming the first player in franchise history to do so.

Seattle bombarded Chicago from the wings throughout the game, with Zakuani leading the charge. Zakuani and Whites give-and-go along the left sideline in the twenty-fifth minute sprung Zakuani from two Chicago defenders, giving the speedy winger a one-on-one with Chicago goalkeeper Sean Johnson. Zakuani caught the indecisive Johnson flat-footed and blasted a shot inside the near post for the game-winning goal.

Chicagos offensive game came around in the second half, but the play of Keller prevented great chances from becoming equalizers.

Keller, the 41-year-old Seattle captain, first stopped Chaves in the fifty-eighth minute after a blocked free kick pinballed in the box and fell to the feet of the unmarked Chicago striker ten-yards out. Keller was able to recover his positioning just in time to make a diving reaction save to Chaves shot.

Minutes later, a through ball from Chaves gave Gaston Puerari a breakaway. Keller came out to cut Pueraris angle and was able to deflect the Uruguayans shot with his foot.

Puerari has had breakaway opportunities in each of his first three games for the Fire. Against Sporting Kansas City he scored, but Saturday and in the season opener against FC Dallas, the crafty forward was foiled by top-notch saves.

The loss is the first of the season for the Fire, whose record is now a poetic 1-1-1.

The team will remain on the West Coast this week in preparation for its game against the expansion Portland Timbers on Thursday night. That game will be the first home game for Portland (0-2-1) as an MLS franchise. The Timbers played in the USL and USSF Division 2 between 2001 and 2010, before becoming the eighteenth member of MLS.

Archie Miller a good hire at Indiana, but his promotion to the big time comes with big-time expectations

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USA TODAY

Archie Miller a good hire at Indiana, but his promotion to the big time comes with big-time expectations

Archie Miller is the new Indiana head basketball coach, and while that gives Indiana the big splash it wanted for Tom Crean's successor, it remains to be seen whether it will please the Indiana fan base and its monster-sized expectations.

Miller is a great get for the Hoosiers, a guy who's taken the Dayton Flyers to four straight NCAA tournaments, including an Elite Eight appearance in 2014, a round the Hoosiers themselves haven't reached in 15 years. Miller has Big Ten experience, a former Thad Matta assistant at Ohio State, and he has experience recruiting in Big Ten Country.

He's been in line for a promotion from the A-10 to a major-conference program for a couple years now, and he was one of the biggest names at that level that Indiana or any other major-conference program looking for a new coach could have snagged.

But weren't Indiana fans expecting Steve Alford to come back to Bloomington?

Keeping in line with the enormous expectations this fan base always seems to have for this program, the internet was hoping athletics director Fred Glass could woo the former Indiana star back to his alma mater, pry him away from the most tradition-rich program in the country to spearhead a rebuilding effort for the team that finished tied for 10th in the Big Ten standings this season.

Those hopes seemed pretty unrealistic from the beginning — though it is difficult to argue with the immense financial attractiveness any Big Ten program has — but a perfect example of the kind of expectations that await Miller.

Marquette is plenty of distance up the college-basketball ladder from Dayton, but it was Crean, too, who made a career leap to the Hoosiers almost a decade ago. Crean's nine-year tenure featured some program-saving digging out from the horrendous spot Kelvin Sampson left things in. It also featured two outright Big Ten championships and three seasons of 27 or more wins. But all that couldn't keep the crushing expectations off Crean's shoulders, and one season after he won a conference title in one of the toughest conference's in college hoops, he was out.

Crean's kind of success wasn't good enough at Indiana. Will Miller's be?

Of course there was inconsistency that accompanied Crean's winning. The Hoosiers were just two wins above .500 this season, the same thing that was true a season after Indiana earned a No. 1 seed in the 2013 NCAA tournament. The two winningest seasons during Crean's tenure were followed by years in which Indiana didn't make the NCAA tournament. Not the kind of trajectory a program expecting a national championship wants to see, hence his firing.

But that goes to show how tough the task is in Bloomington, not necessarily when it comes to building a winner but when it comes to pleasing the folks in this basketball-loving state.

That's Miller's job now, and there likely won't be too long of a honeymoon period. Miller won at the lower levels of college basketball, winning 102 games over the past four seasons, but the Big Ten is a different animal. Another former Matta assistant, John Groce, found that out over his five seasons at Illinois. After getting hired off a Sweet Sixteen run at Ohio, Groce made the NCAA tournament just once in his five seasons in Champaign, the reason for the Big Ten's other coaching change this offseason.

Miller comes to Indiana with a better resume than Groce brought to Illinois — the A-10 is a much better league on an annual basis than the MAC, and Miller did more consistent winning over a longer stretch — but with a similar challenge ahead of him. Illini fans soured on Groce relatively quick, with questions about his job status lingering for a couple of years before he was fired earlier this month. Certainly Crean was never free from questions about his job status during his time in Bloomington, not even getting them to go away with a Big Ten championship last season. Will Hoosier fans treat Miller any differently if a deep tournament run doesn't come in one of Miller's first few seasons?

Of course, that all comes with the territory of being a college basketball coach, and Miller knows that well from his time as a major-conference assistant and with his brother the head coach at Arizona. But now he has to live it every day.

Miller is a great hire by Glass. It's time to find out if Indiana and its sky-high expectations make for a great landing spot for Miller.

2017 NFL Draft Profile: Texas A&M DL Myles Garrett

2017 NFL Draft Profile: Texas A&M DL Myles Garrett

As part of our coverage leading up to the 2017 NFL Draft we will provide profiles of more than 100 prospects, including a scouting report and video interviews with each player.

Myles Garrett, DL, Texas A&M

6'4" | 272 lbs.

2016 stats:

33 tackles, 15 TFL, 8.5 sacks, 2 PD, 2 FF

Projection:

First round

Scouting Report:

"Elite edge rusher who possesses rare explosiveness and the fluid-movement skills and agility of an NBA shooting guard. Good size, but he's never likely going to be a hold-your-ground run defender, and might be best suited as an outside linebacker. However, his ability to explode into the backfield through a gap or around the edge gives him disruptive potential on every snap. Garrett still needs to fine-tune his pass-rush strategy and could stand to give more consistent effort from the start of the snap until the whistle. But his pass-rush production and athletic traits point toward an all-pro career." — Lance Zierlein, NFL.com

Video analysis provided by Rotoworld and NBC Sports NFL Draft expert Josh Norris.

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