FRISCO, Texas – Setting MLS endurance records is nothing new to Kevin Hartman. “El Gato” is already the league’s all-time leader in games played, starts, minutes, shutouts, saves and wins.
However, Wednesday night was a special night for Kevin and his family as the FC Dallas goalkeeper became the first player in MLS history to log 400 games played, going the full 90 minutes in Dallas' 1-1 tie with Toronto FC.
Hartman marks 400th game with point-saving stop
Hartman looks to be the only member of the 400 MLS games played club for quite some time with Colorado Rapids defender Tyrone Marshall the closest active player with 329 appearances and Whitecaps goalkeeper Joe Cannon the closest active ‘keeper at 323 games.
“It really is hard to think about 400 games,” head coach Schellas Hyndman said after the game. “It speaks a lot about his determination, how hard he works, how good he is and then the competitiveness in him. It’s fantastic. I don’t know if there’s going to be another player who comes along and does that.”
You get a true feel for just how much of an achievement 400 games in one league is when you look at the experience of the TFC squad he faced on Wednesday, which had 476 career MLS appearances combined. In fact, TFC’s backup goalkeeper, Quillan Roberts, was just three years old when Hartman made his MLS debut back in 1997.
In recognition of his achievement, FC Dallas named Hartman as the honorary scarfer of the Lamar Hunt statue outside FC Dallas Stadium before Wednesday’s game.
“To be at FC Dallas and be playing for a club that is owned by the Hunt family and have that opportunity, it was something that I was humbled by,” Hartman said of his pregame festivities. “It really was something that I wanted to dedicate more time to and bask in for a few more minutes, but unfortunately I had to go warm up.”
“[My parents] are out here for ten days which is something that doesn’t happen very often and it happened to coincide with my 400th game and Fourth of July, so everything just came together and I’m glad I was able to share it with them.”