Kevin Hartman had a good run with the Kansas City Wizards, but when he faces his former team on Saturday night at Pizza Hut Park as FC Dallas’ starting goalkeeper, it won’t be much different than any of the other eight starts he’s made thus far in 2010.
While it will be good for him to see a number of his former teammates who remain with the Wizards, he isn’t about to lose focus on the most important thing: getting three points.
“The biggest thing is I get to see some of the guys I played with," Hartman said after training on Monday. "I’d obviously love to play well in this game but it’s difficult to get up more for one game than the next because I feel like I put so much into each game."
However, he doesn’t expect any problems maintaining such a good perspective as he prepares throughout the week to face his former side.
“There are a lot of people there that I have a lot of respect for," Hartman said. "I’ve just got to make sure I get to say hi to my friends who I have a lot of respect for, but the most important thing is to keep everything in perspective because the most important thing is trying to get three points."
On Saturday night, in a 2-1 win over Chivas USA at The Home Depot Center, Hartman made several big saves; a performance which didn’t go unnoticed by FCD head coach Schellas Hyndman.
“I just think he’s a solid keeper,” Hyndman said. “The goal that was scored on him by (Osael) Romero was a header that was deflected. If the ball wasn’t deflected, he probably would have intercepted it.”
The FCD coach also liked how Hartman responded after the goal.
“We were ball watching a little bit and Romero ends up getting a head ball and scoring the goal," Hartman said. "Then, he [Hartman] made a couple of nice saves, especially at the far post when diagonal balls came across and they were going with four strikers trying to find anything to get a goal.”
Hartman arrived at FC Dallas several months back, and at the time Dario Sala was entrenched as the club’s starter with the newcomer his backup. However, the roles have recently reversed and Hartman now finds himself starting with Sala as his backup.
Hartman has a 4-1-3 record this season for his new club with a goals-against-average of just 0.75. He also has three clean sheets.
“The confidence is a big thing and the fact that Dario (Sala), Drew (Keeshan) and Schellas (Hyndman) have been very supportive has made it so that I can just concentrate on working now,” Hartman said. “Dario knows that if he’s playing I’m going to support him 110 percent and I know that I have that support from him. That makes it a really good work environment.”
The league mainstay also feels like he is getting more comfortable with the FCD back line with each passing week.
“I feel like I learn more and more about my defense as games go on," Hartman said. "The more points that we’re able to accumulate makes it easier on everybody.”