FRISCO, Texas — With his legacy in Major League Soccer long secure, FC Dallas goalkeeper Kevin Hartman added a new accomplishment to his career last weekend, becoming the first goalkeeper in MLS history to record 100 career clean sheets after FC Dallas earned a 1-0 win over the New England Revolution.
Here is part two of MLSsoccer.com's deeper look inside his 15-year career. (Click here for part one.)
The Ohio native’s path to success in MLS has not been an easy one. He’s learned from several of the game's best and gives credit where it’s due. The ‘keeper who wears size 10 gloves and has 163 career victories in 362 games detailed a long list of coaches and trainers who have helped him develop into one of the best goalkeepers in North American soccer history.
Among the names mentioned: UCLA goalkeeper coach Drew Leonard, former LA Galaxy goalkeeper coach Zak Abdel, former Sporting Kansas City fitness and goalkeeper coach Dave Tenney, current SKC goalkeeper coach John Pascarella and FC Dallas’ Drew Keeshan.
Hartman has also endured plenty of competition on the depth charts, not least from New England goalkeeper Matt Reis when he was at the LA Galaxy.
“Reis is somebody that I had to keep on the bench and had to compete with on a day-to-day basis,” said Hartman. “That’s a task that’s one of the more difficult things that I’ve dealt with in my career.”
Wherever he’s gone, Hartman has been ready for the challenge and taken nothing for granted.
Two MLS Cup championships and two US Open Cup titles
While with the Galaxy, Hartman won MLS Cup twice — in 2002 and '05 — recording shutouts in both games. He also won the country’s oldest domestic tournament, the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup, in '01 and '05.
Hartman has fond memories of his time in Los Angeles.
“I think that the team that went to Foxborough and won away from home in front of 60,000 fans was a great team,” Hartman said of the '02 title game, a 1-0 double-overtime victory for the Galaxy over the hometown Revolution. “The fact that we were able to do it with a shutout — I don’t even think I had to make too many saves that day if memory serves me correctly.”
In addition to the four championships with the Galaxy, Hartman’s teams have won the Supporters Shield twice, the CONCACAF Champions' Cup once and participated in four Western Conference Championships — most recently in 2010, his first season with FC Dallas.
June 4, 2011: 100th career shutout
Last Saturday at Pizza Hut Park, Hartman achieved perhaps his most prolific personal accomplishment to date with his 100th career shutout.
“I honestly feel like it’s a great milestone," Hartman said. "I think the thing that is most important to me is just the longevity of it and how long it has taken to accrue. I don’t take that for granted. I really wanted to be a professional soccer player growing up and I dedicated myself to that.”
Hartman joins an elite group worldwide. According to Opta, English Premier League goalkeepers with 100 career shutouts include Dutch international Edwin van der Sar (133), Englishman David James (170), US great Brad Friedel (118) and Chelsea’s Petr Cech (118).
US goalkeepers have been known for their longevity, and the 37-year-old hopes to continue to add to his numbers in MLS.
“I feel fit and I feel healthy, and it’s something that I continue to work on," Hartman said. "As long as I’m healthy and as long as I feel like I’m capable of doing it, then I want to do it."