TUKWILA, Wash. – Dylan Remick has a chance to become the Seattle Sounders’ left back of the future.
The 23-year-old was thrust into the starting role for Seattle in last Saturday’s 1-0 victory over the Houston Dynamo, in part due to a hip flexor issue bothering regular starter Leo Gonzalez. But with the Sounders seemingly committed to giving their youth a chance this season – and with a pressing need for depth behind the 34-year-old Gonzalez – Remick now has a golden opportunity to impress the Seattle coaching staff and earn consistent minutes in the team’s backline.
Seattle head coach Sigi Schmid pointed, on multiple occasions, to increased confidence and assertiveness in training that he says allowed Remick to earn the start on Saturday, even if he was also quick to mention that there is still plenty of development to come for the third-year defender.
“I thought Remick played well [against Houston],” Schmid told reporters following the victory over the Dynamo. “I thought he was good, he was aggressive. His confidence has grown again this year.”
Remick struggled to consistently crack Seattle’s first-team rotation last year, but the three-time All-Ivy League first-team selection out of Brown says that any adversity he faced was a necessary part of adapting to the pro game – particularly from a mental standpoint.
“I thought last year, with everything that went on, it was a bit of an up-and-down season,” Remick said. “But I thought it helped me grow a lot as a player and as a person. For most players, you’ve got to go through something like that to build back up and to be better than you were previously…I learned from it.”
Speaking with the media following Seattle’s training session on Tuesday at Starfire Soccer Complex, Remick elaborated on the transition period he has experienced after coming to Seattle as the 35th overall pick in the 2013 MLS SuperDraft.
“[Playing in MLS], it’s your job so that takes a whole new aspect into the game and into your life actually,” Remick said. “Everything’s just faster: The mental side of the game, physical, technical, tactical. Everybody’s bigger, better, faster, stronger…It’s not like college where if you play bad, you just go to the next week. You’ve got to earn your paycheck week-in-week-out. That’s something that I think all young kids, myself included, had to deal with and learn how that aspect of life was.”
Remick’s youth and athleticism – he doubled as a track star in high school – make him an intriguing option as the Sounders coaches evaluate how to allocate minutes in their back four. Schmid said after the Houston game that he considers him to be more developed defensively than Colombian signee Andres Correa, another young player who has been competing with Remick for minutes at left back.
Whether Remick ultimately cements himself as a long-term answer for Seattle at the position will likely be determined in the coming weeks and months. For now, he says he’s just focused on continuing to refine and develop his game, particularly as a threat coming forward.
“[This is] one of the best jobs I could ever ask for,” he said. “It’s a dream come true…I want to get a little bit better with us in possession. I want to get the ball more and see if I can get forward more and create a little more havoc in the offensive third. And then defensively I want to stay strong. I want to be hard to beat.”