FRISCO, Texas – Schellas Hyndman is a matter-of-fact kind of guy. So when the FC Dallas manager said last week he wanted a 'keeper who would push incumbent Kevin Hartman in 2011, he was dead serious.
That’s why FCD acquired 23-year-old backup goalkeeper Chris Seitz from Philadelphia during the offseason. With the departure of veteran Dario Sala, the reigning Western Conference champions needed someone who could back up Hartman or even start in his place if injuries become an issue in 2011.
They chose Seitz, who started 22 games for the expansion Philadelphia Union in 2010 after spending the three previous years with Real Salt Lake.
“Even though he’s only 23 or 24 years old, he brings experience because he was a starting 'keeper last year,” Hyndman said. “I think it would be very hard for Kevin Hartman to come to practice every day and give 100 percent if he didn’t have to worry about somebody. We wanted to bring somebody in that gave him some push and at the same time, somebody that could be one of our future 'keepers.”
And even though the FCD boss sees plenty to like in his new young netminder, he also sees some room for improvement.
[inline_node:327819]“He’s got some habits that may not be the best, which we’ll evaluate,” Hyndman said. “What we need to do is get him on the field to work with his distribution, with his positioning, and then also work with the air ball, which we haven’t seen yet.”
FCD fans should get their first glimpse of Seitz in a scrimmage Tuesday morning against Houston Baptist University. It’s FCD’s first action of the preseason, and for Seitz, the first chance to make a fresh start.
“We’re obviously competing, but I have no problem building a good relationship with [Hartman],” Seitz said. “It makes training better that way. He’s a great goalkeeper with a lot of experience. I’m just trying to learn from him.”
Even if the Maryland alum doesn’t become FCD’s starting keeper, he should expect see to some time during the CONCACAF Champions League and the US Open Cup. Throw in the return of the Reserve League and he could see plenty of minutes.
“Anytime a team has multiple games, whether it’s a tournament, reserve league, or whatever, it’s good for players,” Seitz said. “Any chance I have, I’m going to try and go out and make a good impression.”