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Dusty Hudock Takes Charleston to Open Cup Final

Hudock send up piece and a look at his career.

Dusty Hudock, the former Seattle Sounder and University of Washington star made two saves in the penalty shootout to hold off his former club from making and hosting the Open Cup Final. The Charleston Battery prevented the Sounders from making their transition to the MLS all the more glorious and destined. Rather, it will instead be DC United versus the Charleston Battery in the Open Cup final.

The old age question is when if ever will the USL and the MLS will work out a relegation system. There’s a lot of quality in the USL, from Vancouver to Portland to the Sounders in the West, to Rochester and Charleston in the East. However, the more likely scenario is USL teams will get absorbed into the MLS as the Sounders have been and not enter the league via promotion. Nothing wrong with that I say. Let’s just hope they pick the right teams and cities though, like the teams previously mentioned above.

But back to Dusty Hudock, a tireless worker and long time professional, he's now earned some potential cup glory for himself if they can pick off DC at home. I remember him training relentlessly at the UW. Rain or shine he’d be out there on days off and then he’d stay after our normal training sessions to swat crosses away and take shots. And, as it was Seattle most of those days were wet. I think he came to enjoy diving in the mud and geese droppings though, he had a goal in sight and wasn’t going to let anything stop him.

A lot of Hudcok’s days with the Seattle Sounders were spent on the bench, as he had to compete with Marcus Hahnemann for time. Previously the two battled it out in SPU versus UW games, and then they joined forces so to speak with the Sounders, but with keepers there’s only one position to play. It’s not like with forwards or midfielders who can swap positions - keepers however can only play in goal.

So Hudock didn’t have a red carpet path to professional soccer. He’s more of journeymen, with some time in the MLS but a majority of it with top USL teams, including a one-year stint with Rochester. If there’s something to come away from this though, it’s that perseverance is what it takes to become a professional soccer player. That's really the bottom line, you've got to be dedicated to the game. There's not a ton of money in the USL or even the MLS, you're playing cause you love it.

I also remember Hudock reading Penthouse letters on the plane to the captive and slowly captivated audience. But if anyone deserves the glory of an Open Cup title it would be Dusty Hudock. I’ll be pulling for Charleston against the surprising winners DC United even though I would have liked to see the Sounders in the final. Really, I would have thought New England would have dismantled United as they’ve been on a win streak of late, as they edged out Houston in the SuperLiga final.

Dusty’s honors from Wikipedia:

  • Charleston Battery MVP 2002, 2003, 2004
  • Charleston Battery Defender of the year 2001, 2002
  • USL Goalkeeper of the year 1997, 2002
  • USISL winner 1995
  • USL1 winner 2003
  • MLS Cup 1998

The Seattle area and the Sounders has always been a breeding ground for quality goalkeepers, with the likes of Kasey Keller, Marcus Hahnemann, Dusty Hudock, and Preston Burpo having grown up in the area or spent time with the Sounders. The new Seattle MLS team is going to announce their second signing in the next few days. All signs point to that signing being Kasey Keller. Did he and Marcus work out a deal? Kasey will play for the MLS team for a few years and then Marcus will come over when he’s done in England. I’m sure they both want to retire and finish out their careers in Seattle.


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