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Video special: Kasey - my nightmare

Posted on 17 September 2001  - 12:00

Tottenham Hotspur (Spurs) Football Club is located in North London. The club is also known as Spurs. Tottenham's home ground is White Hart Lane. The club motto is Audere est Facere (To dare is to do).

Kasey Keller has spoken for the first time about the atrocities suffered by his compatriots in America and how difficult it was to prepare mentally for his Spurs debut against Torquay United on Thursday night.

American international goalkeeper Kasey watched in disbelief at Spurs Lodge on Tuesday afternoon as the tragic events unfolded in New York.

Two days later and he was facing Torquay in the Worthington Cup at White Hart Lane.

“It was very difficult for me,” explained Kasey after our 2-0 victory. “Fortunately, for myself, most of my friends and family are on the other coast.

“For me it will be more of a case of when the aftermath falls I’m sure I’ll know someone involved.

“My good friend Gregg Berhalter is at Crystal Palace and his whole family is from New York. I know he has friends who worked in the World Trade Centre. For me, it will be more like friends of friends.

“But it has still been a difficult time and my thoughts have been with everyone back home trying to get through what has been one of the worst days in the history of America.”

How did he get his head around playing on Thursday night? “You’re a professional and you do it,” he said.

“It was difficult, I’ll admit that. I wish things were under different circumstances and I suppose I will always think of my debut as happening so close to such a terrible event.”

The difficulty is, of course, moving on. How could Kasey get those events out of his mind? The answer, at the moment, is that he can’t.

“My family came here today,” he revealed. “I’m thinking two days later and they are on a flight — what must have that been like?

“I have to go back over in a couple of weeks for the next international weekend.

“I was in DC, our last game was there and I drived past the Pentagon a couple of times. Suddenly some psycho has driven a plane straight into it and you just can’t imagine people having to deal with that.

“Friends at school at NYU are just across from the World Trade Centre. What are they having to deal with? What about the families on the planes? The not knowing, that is so difficult.

“Some of me says I wish I was there being able to help. I feel kinda helpless over here trying to do my thing. We’ll have to rally round and America will come through it.

“The thing is you’re talking about two icons here. This is the World Trade Centre, not the New York Trade Centre or even the America Trade Centre.

“There are hundreds of Britons involved and I bet the toll will be 40 or 50 countries by the end. I think it’s time for the world to unite and try to put an end to this type of situation as possible.”

So what about the game? Kasey had very little to do as we struggled somewhat in the first half before dominating after the break.

“I was fairly happy,” he reflected. “We were a little sloppy in the first half-hour but we got through it, got into half-time at 0-0 and the manager got us going a little but we knew we had let ourselves down.

“We started passing better, made the opportunities and scored the two goals.

“These games can be difficult and what has been happening the last couple of days in the States, everyone’s attention has been drawn to that so to come out, regain our concentration and win was very important.”

And, finally, he had this message for the fans. “I’d like to say thanks for the support and the fans were tremendous for me out there.”

By Paul Miles