KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Dom Dwyer thought he might be plying his trade in Scotland this year. But after Sporting Kansas City turned down a proposed loan deal for the young English forward, he's back in MLS and looking to make an impact in his sophomore season.
Dwyer, Sporting's first-round pick in the 2012 SuperDraft, had a solid trial with Scottish Premier League side St. Mirren over the winter break. Sporting brought him back, though, rather than extend the loan.
Still, Dwyer was glad for the trial opportunity.
“It was good to get back to what I was used to growing up,” he told MLSsoccer.com last week, before Sporting headed to their first warm-weather camp in Tucson, Ariz. “I feel like I got a little bit of my English flair back.”
And to have the Scottish club make a bid for his services, Dwyer said, made him feel good about his future prospects.
“The standards are very high,” he said. “The Scottish Premier League is close to MLS, so to me it was really beneficial. The loan didn't go through in the end, but St. Mirren were keen on me. They liked me, so it was good for my profile in England and Scotland.”
Dwyer was the 16th pick overall in 2012, but played sparingly as a rookie with one regular-season and one playoff appearance – 14 total minutes – in league action.
“I've got a couple of aspects to improve on this year,” he said. “We had a meeting at the end of the year and there were a couple of things that needed improvement. I feel like I've already improved on them. I'm twice as fit as I was coming in last year, and with two months of preseason I'm going to be even fitter. If I need to play on the wings, if I need to play center forward, I can play wherever.”
And where Dwyer the rookie came in brash, this year's edition has learned to be more patient.
“I wanted to be in straightaway, but the coaches told me, 'You've got to learn,'” he said. “I didn't realize that. I was impatient. I didn't understand everything. Now it's all so much easier and I'm relaxed. I'm excited. I'm just making my way into it slowly. I know I'll get chances, and when I get them, I'll take them and I'll prove my worth. They used their first-round pick on me last year, and I've yet to repay them.”
Steve Brisendine covers Sporting Kansas City for MLSsoccer.com.