Seitz savors return to team life after bone marrow donation

Chris Seitz for FC Dallas

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FRISCO, Texas – There must have been a million things going through Chris Seitz’s mind as he flew to the East Coast last month to donate his bone marrow for an anonymous patient. Since returning to Frisco, however, Seitz has been focused on just one thing: getting back with his FC Dallas teammates.

Despite being unable to participate, Seitz has been a fixture at FCD's morning trainings, taking on an unfamiliar role as a de facto assistant coach in recent weeks. 

“I guess it’s more one of those things where I’ll do whatever I can to help out,” Seitz said of his recent role. “Obviously, I haven’t been in a situation where I’m able to train or do anything like that and sitting at home can only be relaxing for so long.”

Given the extreme nature of Seitz’s surgery – a procedure where dozens of holes are drilled into the lower back – an extended absence from practice could certainly be understood. But no one was keeping the 25-year-old away from his team for long.

READ: ESPN's moving account of Chris Seitz's decision to donate bone marrow to save a stranger's life

“I was missing the daily gossip and banter and all that stuff,” Seitz told MLSsoccer.com on Wednesday. “I didn’t necessarily feel left out, but I felt like I wasn’t catching what I was used to catching. That’s the stuff that makes soccer what it is, the camaraderie with your friends and your teammates. I was missing it.”

The tongue-in-cheek pinnacle of his coaching career came in the last reserve league game of the season against Chicago on Oct. 10. Seitz, who has captained the team for many of their games this year, spent the game on the bench helping to warm up substitutes while barking out some orders to the field. 

But that doesn’t mean Seitz will be looking to move into coaching any time soon.

“It’s stressful,” he said.

FCD boss Schellas Hyndman, however, sees something of Seitz's future in the way he's handled himself over the past several months.

“I think what it says about Chris is he’s continued to build his resume, his character and his life,” head coach Schellas Hyndman said about his recent contributions. “There’s a saying that goes something like, ‘We build our habits and then our habits build us.’ And that’s Chris.”