I read the question and answer in the FAQ area [of the US Soccer website], but would like some clarification. Can the goalie go outside the goal area to retrieve the ball and dribble it back into the area to pick it up? I see this the same as a team mate passing it to the goalie and the goalie picking it up. Any help you can provide would be appreciated. Thanks.
USSF answer (November 2, 2009):
The goalkeeper may leave the penalty area (which includes the goal area) and retrieve the ball and dribble it back into the penalty area and play it with his/her hands only if the ball was played (a) in any manner by an opponent or (b) by a teammate in a legal manner, i. e., not deliberately kicked to the goalkeeper or to a place where he or she could play it.