Posted on November 27, 2006
Marcus Hahnemann is a large part of Readings promotion and early success in the English Premiership. The American Abroad keeper took a moment to speak with Soccer365’s Andrew Rogers about playing top flight football, the U.S. national team and more…
by Andrew Rogers
Last time Soccer 365 caught up with Marcus Hahnemann, Reading FC had just lost to Luton Town in the Championship, little did the former Seattle Sounder realize what the next 3 month would entail. The Royals were promoted to the Premiership with a record breaking points tally, and Hahnemann was picked for the US World Cup squad in Germany.
Joining him for coffee at his former Starbuck haunt in Fulham he reflected on how different his life had been last time he was here- out of contract and without a club he had contemplated joining Walsall!
This time, having got one over on former MLS pal Brian McBride and his former club, Reading currently lie one point outside of a Champions League places, and his current form given that Reading were written off at the start of the season, should secure him a starting spot for the MNT against Denmark.
Clearly delighted at extending his club’s unbeaten run to 3 games, and keeping his fourth shut out of the season, the former Fulham goalie was open and candid as he spoke exclusively to Soccer 365.
Marcus, of course three points against Fulham must have meant a lot to you, but the real big issue must have been Thanksgiving how did that work out?
I spent it with the family. We had two huge seventeen pound turkeys’. We didn’t shoot them as I didn’t have the opportunity, it doesn’t seem to work like that here in England! But it was great fun.
Last time you were here did you expect to be a top flight player in one of the greatest leagues in the world?
No. It was a really tough time, we really didn’t know what was going to happen, we were eating into our savings and we looking at probably heading back to the States. The TV deal with the football league had just collapsed so the clubs had no money for transfers.
It took a while for Reading to come in for in me, which was around August but when it did happen it was nice. I had played there the year before on loan so I was comfortable and relieved at the situation. The stadium was nice and I enjoyed my loan time so there was no question of me being able to enjoy myself.
So what were you thinking about when coming back to Fulham, you never got the chance to prove yourself here?
Maik Taylor was the number one keeper back then. He never got injured or anything, so I played only four games in the three years I was there, it was frustrating. This is one of the games I’ve been looking forward to since I knew we were getting promoted. I was like I can’t wait to go back to Fulham. To see Carlos, Brian and to see a lot of my old friends that work for the club like Chris Coleman who was the player and captain when I was there.
Three American players were involved in the game, has US soccer come a long way in the last few years?
To have three Americans playing in one Premier League game is amazing. It took me back to my MLS days, I had to keep an eye out for McBride on the corners he is so good in the air. But they had a lot of good guys in the air, Brian especially he got a few against me in the MLS so I had to make sure he was well marked.
How is the contract situation working out, there were whispers that you may have been heading back to the MLS?
I don’t think so. I never looked to go anywhere else I just wanted a little more money. I wanted more, they didn’t want to pay me as much, that’s how it works. I haven’t signed anything yet but we pretty much agree on what we want, I believe anyway. It should happen next week. I won’t be going back to the MLS as a designated player at this point.
Last time we met, yourself and Bobby Convey couldn’t speak highly enough of Eddie Johnson when you played with him at the national camps, how is he been training since he came over?
Eddie has done great and he really fits in with the guys. He has settled in and hangs out with a few of the players so it is really working out for him here, I hope he signs in the January window, he would strength our squad and that’s the one thing you have to keep looking to do. The gaffer seems to be impressed and Eddie has what it takes to do well at this level.
Obviously you other compatriot BC is struggling with his knee at the moment, what is the situation?
Well since he got injured it definitely hasn’t been quiet. Hunty (Stephen Hunt) had that incident with Chelsea that was blown out of all proportion, it was really unfair. Having said that Hunty has come through and done well, he’s played a lot of games since Bobby got injured, he’s looked really good and played really good, all that stuff is behind us and we’ve moved on and get on with playing.
Bobby is coming back real soon, and well be really eager to reclaim his place in the side, he just needs to rest it and get some strength back, then he’ll be up and running.
Have you heard anything on the MNT coaching situation?
To read the complete Marcus Hahnemann interview visit Soccer365