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Gastroenteritis may put Keller on sideline for Rayo Vallecano opener.

(Thursday, August 19, 1999) -- Illness will apparently cause American goalkeeper Kasey Keller to postpone his Spanish League debut with Rayo Vallecano.

The club opens its season Saturday against crosstown rival Atletico Madrid. In Madrid, Rayo coach Juande Ramos told reporters that team doctor Carlos Beceiro has diagnosed Keller with a case of gastroenteritis, and the resultant high fever kept him from training yesterday or today. Ramos said it was doubtful Keller would play Saturday.

So far in the preseason, Keller has been splitting the keeper's duties with Julen Lopetegui, Rayo's starting keeper last season. The two have each played one half in both of Rayo's preseason matches.

Reserve national team goalkeeper Brad Friedel was dressed and on the bench for Liverpool's unexpected shocking Premier League home loss to Watford 1-0. The match was played in a driving rain.

Friedel is Liverpool’s third string keeper and likely headed out of town. His biggest problem is that Liverpool now has an abundance of foreigners in its player pool, and for many matches, will likely use three non-European Union starters, the maximum that can be dressed for any match. Friedel was able to dress against Watford because only two other non-EU players were dressed.

Liverpool's starting keeper is Dutchman Sander Westerveld, the Netherlands' national team number two, and a $6.4 million off-season transfer from Vitesse Arnhem. He has played 90 minutes in both Liverpool matches thus far. Besides Friedel, there are two other keepers on Liverpool's first team roster.

The assumption in the British media is that Friedel will be sold soon. But, for now, he is fighting to regain the starters role should Westerveld falter or sustain an injury.

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