Richard Sanchez is the newest Development Academy player to sign a Home Grown contract with FC Dallas. The 16-year-old goalkeeper recently returned to Frisco from training with the Mexican U-17 National Team for this summer's U-17 World Cup in Mexico. FCDallas.com caught up with the busy young 'keeper to get his thoughts on his national team training and signing with FC Dallas.
FCDallas.com: Tell me about the time you just spent with the Mexican U-17 National Team.
Sanchez: I just got back today from Mexico. I was in camp with the Mexican U-17 National Team and we were out in Guadalajara for a week and then another week in Monterrey. These were camps to prepare ourselves for the U-17 World Cup in Mexico, so that’s exciting.
FCDallas.com: Do you think you’ll be able to earn the starting position?
Sanchez: I’m hoping so. I’m working towards that starting position. We’ll see what the future holds and what the coach decides.
FCDallas.com: What was your reaction when you found out you were going to be signed by FC Dallas?
Sanchez: It was a feeling that I can’t really explain. I’ve been wanting this ever since I was a little kid, really ever since I started kicking a ball. It’s a dream come true and I always thank God for taking me wherever I go, for having me wake up every morning, and just having this offer to sign with FC Dallas is a real blessing.
FCDallas.com: How did your parents react to the news?
Sanchez: They were very proud of me and happy, you know how parents are.
FCDallas.com: You’re only 16 years old, did you think you would have to work your way up through the FC Dallas U-18s before you would get the chance to be signed by the first team?
Sanchez: I knew that in order for me to make the pro team I would have to work really hard and make a name for myself. So of course I knew I had to go through the Academy teams to prove that I’m capable of playing at a high level.
FCDallas.com: Goalkeeper is a position that comes with a lot of personal accountability, do you think you’re ready for that responsibility at a professional level?
Sanchez: It’ll be something new for me, something I’m going to have to get used to. I can only ask Kevin Hartman and a couple of other goalkeepers here what their experiences have been and just try to learn from them really. I know it’s going to be a big responsibility, a huge responsibility, so I’m just going to have to practice as hard as I can and see how it works out for me.
FCDallas.com: You mentioned Kevin Hartman, what’s it going to be like for you to be able to work with a goalkeeper of that caliber?
Sanchez: Ever since I was a little kid actually, I admired the way he played when he was with the Galaxy. To be able to train with him is a real blessing and a really amazing opportunity for me to just learn as much as I can from him.
FCDallas.com: What does the opportunity to represent your hometown at this level mean to you?
Sanchez: It means a lot to me. It’s the first time that I signed a professional contract so it’s something that I’m really looking forward to, to be able to represent Dallas.