Fulham's Keller: Premiership helping soccer in 'States

Fulham goalkeeper Kasey Keller says the Premiership is helping lift the popularity of soccer in the United States.

He said: "There's a whole generation of Americans growing up playing the sport and the idea that soccer is a soft option goes out of the window as soon as kids suffer their first kick.

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"I remember a world champion boxer from Colombia telling me the most pain he ever endured was on a soccer pitch.

"The Premier League gets huge TV coverage in the States. And because there's a bunch of Americans at Fulham, there's a particular interest in our team.

"As well as myself, there's Brian McBride, Carlos Bocanegra, Clint Dempsey and Eddie Johnson. And don't forget Paul Stalteri. He's Canadian but I remind him all the time that he wants to be American!"

Keller insists his future is not dependent on keeping Fulham in the top flight, even though his contract expires at the end of next month.

He said: "Maybe this time I will go back to the States, maybe I will play on. I don't know."

If he does go back home, he will not have a problem finding his way around.

He said: "They named a street after me in my home town of Olympia in Washington. There was a soccer nut developing property. He petitioned the city and named the road after me.

"Kasey Keller Drive - it's a little embarrassing but I suppose it's nice to be remembered."

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