As First Kick rapidly approaches, MLSsoccer.com will mark each passing day with a different statistic, observation or talking point, setting the stage for March 10 as the beginning of the 2012 MLS campaign inches closer and closer.
30 – career starts for Kevin Hartman against New York
It seems logical to start the Countdown to First Kick with FC Dallas’ Kevin Hartman, perhaps the league’s most iconic netminder and the owner of just about every pertinent goalkeeping record in MLS history.
Hartman is the league’s all-time leader in victories (171), clean sheets (106) and saves (1,376). More recently, he has also been the leader of one of MLS’ stingiest defenses in Dallas during the past two seasons.
More relevant to the Countdown, Hartman has accumulated 30 career starts against the New York franchise that began as the MetroStars before claiming the Red Bulls moniker that they boast today.
On March 11, Hartman and his FCD teammates will take the field against the Hans Backe’s squad at FC Dallas Stadium in Frisco, Texas, in the first-ever MLS game broadcast on NBC Sports (3 pm ET), a rematch from last season’s MLS Cup Playoffs that ended 2-0 in New York’s favor.
The game will mark the start of Hartman’s 16th season in MLS and as well as his 387th appearance MLS, tops of any current active player by a wide margin.
Kevin Hartman and FC Dallas host the New York Red Bulls on Sunday, March 11, live on NBC Sports. GET TICKETS!
Kevin Hartman denies Thierry Henry