The North American Soccer Reporters announced on Thursday that they have voted Kevin Hartman the MLS Player of the Month for July.
Kevin Hartman had an extraordinary July even by his standards. FC Dallas was involved in three competitions, the MLS regular season, the US Open Cup, and the CONCACAF Champions League (their first time in the CCL as well). Because of the schedule overload FCD faced a grueling eight games with some crazy travel to three countries and home games in the insane summer heat of Dallas. At the same time Dallas was getting hampered by injuries and call ups, particularly at striker, damaging their goal scoring potential.
Just when the team needed to clamp down on defense the most Kevin Hartman and company stepped up. Hartman, with help from his defense of course, pitched shutouts in six of the eight games FCD played during the month, earning the club a 5-1-2 record. Hartman himself posted a 0.5 GAA over the month span. Hartman’s experience, positioning, and communication keep his defense calm and collected. Timely saves and big stops single handedly kept FCD from going behind in several games.
A 2-0 Shutout of the Crew to open the month, then after a loss at RSL FCD rebounded with a shutout US Open Cup win over RSL in Dallas. Then it was a shutout tie with DC United and a shutout road win over Toronto. Following a tie against new York on the road, FCD traveled to El Salvador for the CCL and shutout Alianza FC (a stunning performance by Hartman to steal a game in an insanely hostile environment) and after getting stuck in for days in El Salvador and arriving back late in the day before the game Hartman posted yet another shutout this time over Chivas USA .
Hartman finished July with 12 shutouts on the regular season, and 14 shutouts in all competitions (15 after Wednesday...), breaking the FCD individual season record of 11 held by Matt Jordan in 1999 and tieing the team record of 12 from that same year. With 11 games this season left Hartman has a shot at the MLS record of 16 shutouts held by Tony Meola.
This is the second time since joining FC Dallas that Hartman has been named the MLS Player of the Month, after earning the honor in August, 2010.