Goalkeeper Kevin Hartman was lights out for FC Dallas during the month of July and was justly rewarded by being named the MLS Player of the Month by the North American Soccer Reporters on Thursday.
The 37-year-old veteran recorded an impressive four shutouts in six MLS matches this past month, leading his squad to 3-1-2 mark and a spot just three points out of first place in the Western Conference with a game in hand on LA.
Of the 25 media ballots, Hartman tallied an impressive 15 first-place votes, easily finishing ahead of runner-up Omar Bravo (Sporting Kansas City) who received four. Álvaro Saborío (Real Salt Lake), Dwayne De Rosario (D.C. United), Mauro Rosales (Seattle), Tally Hall (Houston) and Thierry Henry (New York) rounded out the field.
The Dallas netminder and his back line are proving to be a formidable task for opponents to break through. Only four teams — Real Salt Lake, Philadelphia and the LA Galaxy — have surrendered fewer goals this season.
Hartman was impenetrable at home during Dallas' three matches at Pizza Hut Park last month, earning his team seven out of nine possible points. Hartman kept a clean sheet in each one of those games, and he brought his shutout total to 12 on the season, putting him on pace to break the single-season shutout record set at 16 by Tony Meola in 2000.
This is the second time since joining Dallas that Hartman has been named the MLS Player of the Month after earning the honor in August, 2010. Hartman joins Nick Rimando as the only other ‘keeper to take home Player of the Month honors this campaign, when the RSL netminder earned the award back in March.
PLAYER OF THE MONTH WINNERS, 2011
March: Nick Rimando, RSL
April: Brad Davis, Houston
May: Landon Donovan, LA
June: Graham Zusi, Sporting KC