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FC Dallas defender Ryan Hollingshead talks fostering child during pandemic

Aside from preparing for a potential MLS return, FC Dallas outside back Ryan Hollingshead has also been busy as a foster parent while sheltering in-place during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Hollingshead and his wife, Taylor, became foster parents last year and have welcomed a 13-month old boy into their home. They have two children of their own, and Hollingshead discussed the experience during a recent Associated Press story.

“This is our saying in our house, our saying with our kids, ‘You can do hard things,’” Hollingshead said. “So even though these things are hard, think of how much harder it is for the foster kid who’s going from house to house and doesn’t have any stability. He doesn’t have his parents. So if it’s hard for us, it’s 10 times harder for him. And so we can do hard things so that a baby can have a safe place to be.”

The Hollingsheads, according to the AP story, were previously foster parents for a four-month-old girl who eventually returned to her biological family. 

Hollingshead, now in his seventh season with FC Dallas, is no stranger to compassionate acts. He was originally selected in the second round (20th overall) of the 2013 MLS SuperDraft out of UCLA, but didn't enter MLS until the following year. Instead, he helped his brother launch a church in Sacramento and spent time in Haiti working at an orphanage.

He was also named the 2017 MLS WORKS Humanitarian of the Year after battling back from a broken neck sustained in a car accident. Hollingshead had stopped to care for a stranded motorist, and the incident caused him to miss the start of the 2017 season.

Now, Hollinghsead is relishing his experience as a foster parent.

“Being able to get the concentrated time I have with him has been really special, being able to form that bond with him in a time where I usually wouldn’t be able to do so, at least to this extent, to this degree,” Hollinghsead said. “So really grateful for it.”

For more from Hollingshead, check out the complete AP story here.