FC Dallas fans remember last year’s meeting with the New York Red Bulls on Sept. 16, 2010, which just happens to be one year ago today, as a highly eventful affair. The first thing that happened was Brek Shea got sent off in the 29th minute after a hard tackle near the sideline. That ejection came just a minute after Dallas captain Daniel Hernandez had to leave the pitch with a hamstring injury.
And then, right before halftime, FCD supporters saw goalkeeper Kevin Hartman, who was likely on his way to being named MLS Goalkeeper of the Year for a third time in his storied career, go down with a knee injury after a questionable challenge from Red Bulls forward Thierry Henry.
Hartman isn’t one to hold a grudge and after training on Friday, he reflected on the entire incident. Sure, it is a bit wordy but here is what he had to say verbatim:
“It’s one of those situations where you play soccer for a number of years, it takes quite a bit to kind of leave you taken aback with how something happened. You’d seen it all you would think. And after the goal, I kind of just got up, looked up and saw the ball roll past Zach [Loyd]. Zach was obviously on the ground, so I went over to gather the ball to get it back up to midfield. As I kind of started striding towards it, I noticed that Henry was rushing. I didn’t know who it was at that point. I just saw somebody coming towards the ball. I thought myself and Zach are in a precarious position if he comes and crushes the ball. So I kind of stepped to it, just assuming that once there’s the presence of the other player there, I can’t kick it and I’ll keep going. I put my foot up just in case he did and unfortunately, he crushed it and it ended up giving me a severe strain of the MCL.”
“For me, I was just surprised by the whole thing. Henry, he called me, was apologetic and said he didn’t mean to hurt me. I don’t think that was ever my assumption that he meant to hurt me. It was just one of those things where I think from a personal perspective obviously it endangers your career and endangers a lot of different things. I think the biggest thing for me was the surprise. After playing soccer for 33 years, seeing something like that just kind of leaves you shaking your head. I think that stuff like that is honestly one of the reasons I watch the game all the time, just because I love watching stuff that never happens. But certainly to be on the receiving end of it was a little disappointing.”
“If you look at it, I think I came back right in time for the playoffs and we were able to make a great run. So I don’t feel like it was hugely detrimental long term. I think the biggest thing maybe I missed out on was the opportunity of trying to take home that goalkeeper of the year award and also I couldn’t go into camp [with the national team] in January because I was still recovering. Like I said, things happen and you just try to deal with it.”