In Saturday night’s 1-0 road loss at Vancouver, Chris Seitz got a rare start in goal for FC Dallas, an unexpected call brought on by starter Kevin Hartman experiencing back spasms during pre-game warm-ups. The veteran goalkeeper who is 3-2-1 with a 1.50 goals-against-average and one shutout through six games this season was working on the side during a Monday morning recovery session, after which he talked in detail about his back.
“It’s just an issue I’m working through. I injured it last Tuesday and then I felt like I was back to close to 100 percent. Went through a majority of the warmup and then it just tightened up on me,” Hartman said. “I have enough confidence in Chris [Seitz], I don’t want to go out there and play less than what I feel is adequate. The last thing I want to do is go out there and have to get subbed out in 10-15 minutes and try to do something that’s selfish and not very team-oriented. Chris I thought did a great job. I’m going to continue to rehab and try to get back as quick as I can.”
Seitz was saddled with the loss thanks to a first-half goal by Vancouver’s Camilo but delivered an overall solid performance for FCD.
“Excellent, it’s never easy for any player to be called in at the last second. For a goalkeeper, it’s probably even more difficult because you’re warming up and all of a sudden your starting goalie goes down in a warmup. We worked on Kevin and when Chris got back in from the warmup, we told him he was going to go ahead and start. He was focused, prepared. He had no issues with it,” Dallas coach Schellas Hyndman said.
In a way, the fact Seitz found out he was starting for the first time in 2012 right before the game actually worked in his favor.
“Most of the time when you go to players and tell them hey, tomorrow you’re starting they got all night to think about it and they get a little nervous and you don’t know how it affects you. He never had that chance but I thought his performance was very good. I thought he was solid,” Hyndman said.
And as for the precision strike that Camilo knocked in for the game’s only goal, his head coach found no fault at the hands of his young keeper.
“The goal that Camilo scored on him, I don’t think it would have made a difference if Kevin [Hartman] was on the field or [Tim] Howard was on the field. I think it was just struck very well,” Hyndman said.
So, considering how well Seitz performed against the Whitecaps, FCD fans should expect the ex-Terrapin to start again on Wednesday when Real Salt Lake visits Frisco, right? Well, that may or may not be the case.
“I have no idea about Wednesday about this point. Last week, I started rehabbing on Wednesday and I was practically ready for Saturday. We’ll see how it loosens up and how it responds to treatment,” Hartman said.
Of course, his head coach hopes to have him back. But in the event, the 36-year-old keeper can’t go, he also has an insurance policy in place to back up Seitz should he start against RSL in just two days.
“Right now, he hasn’t ruled himself out for the game against Real Salt Lake but we’ll have to wait and see. What we’ve done is we’re keeping Richard [Sanchez] here. Richard’s been called in by the Mexican Under-20 national for training and we decided to keep him here in case Kevin does pull himself out,” Hyndman said.”
One factor working in Hartman’s favor is that he has no history of back injuries, which could mean this might be an issue that quickly passes for “El Gato”.
“No, it was the first time I’ve ever felt it. It’s something with my SI joint with just the tightness in my lower back. I’ve been on some anti-inflammatories and hopefully they continue to work,” Hartman said. “Go see the chiropractor this afternoon [Monday] and see what happens and how I feel tomorrow."