FRISCO, Texas — It’s been a while since Chris Seitz felt this feeling.
In his first start since May 12, 2012 -- and his first appearance since donating bone marrow last fall -- Seitz secured the second shutout of his career, as FC Dallas topped Real Salt Lake, 2-0, on Saturday night. For a player who was once the US's most heralded young goalkeeper, getting a game again, making a start, and earning a shutout are the beginning of something.
“Hopefully, a lot more to come,” Seitz said after the match.
The clean sheet is the California native’s first since August 29, 2009, when he was with Real Salt Lake, and while he was only forced into three saves on the evening, he came up big when called upon, especially late in the match.
“I couldn’t be happier for the guy,” said George John. “Seitz filled in very well, did a great job and got a shutout. Any time you get a shutout the keeper’s had a great game.”
Seitz and Matt Hedges were involved in the game-saving moment of the match as the ‘keeper saved Robbie Findley’s shot low to his left side before Hedges cleared the ensuing rebound shot away to save the game for FCD.
“Robbie hit it back across and I didn’t get as much as I wanted on it, but I put it right back up the middle and huge credit to Hedges,” said Seitz. “A huge save. And at that point it was probably the game-changer to go out and get our second.”
Seitz got the start only because usual No. 1 Raúl Fernández was away on international duty with Peru. Regardless of the current pecking order, though, Seitz's performance will only intensify the goalkeeping battle between the two, which has been the most hotly contested in the squad.
“It’s fantastic,” head coach Schellas Hyndman told reporters after the match. “Many of you remember how tight the fight has been between [Seitz] and Raúl. He gets a shutout tonight, a fantastic way to start and Raúl got a shutout last night playing for Peru. The point is that we’ve got two very good ‘keepers.”
Seitz's attention now returns to off-the-field matters. He and his fiancée, Kate, are expecting their first child, a baby girl, any day now. With a shutout on Saturday night in the bag, the next week for Seitz could be one of the most momentous of the 26-year-old’s life.
“She’s good,” Seitz reported of his fiancée. “Hopefully it’ll be any day now. Something special is going to happen for us this week.”