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Kevin Hartman reflects on Thierry Henry incident in 2010

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.”