FRISCO – Chris Seitz is back between the posts for FC Dallas four months after donating bone marrow.
His rigorous recovery process post-surgery at the end of the 2012 season seamlessly melded into the off-season and preparation for 2013.
Now, just a few days into pre-season, Seitz is happy to be back with his teammates and ready to compete for the starting goalkeeper spot.
“I haven’t had any sort of fatigue issues, weakness in the lower back or anything that I had at the end of last year,” Seitz said in between FC Dallas’ two-a-day training sessions. “Back to 100 percent and ready to go.”
The off-season for Seitz was filled with workouts designed to maintain and increase fitness levels.
For goalkeepers that means plenty of plyometric exercises designed to increase his jump, increase speed and better reaction time.
There was also the usual running and lifting that goes with being a professional athlete.
It was worth the effort, according to Seitz.
“I used it as a time to improve and come in sharp,” Seitz said.
Head coach Schellas Hyndman has noticed.
“This is probably the most fit I’ve seen him come in for preseason,” Hyndman said, adding that the goalkeeper told him he lost around eight pounds due to his workouts.
Seitz wasn’t just recovering from his surgery – he was getting ready for a legitimate chance to takeover as starting goalkeeper.
FC Dallas parted ways with previous starter Kevin Hartman over the off-season, opening the door for Seitz. Seitz said he and Hartman were good friends and he learned a lot from the veteran, but he relishes the chance to become starter.
“It’s one of those things that every athlete wants. It’s an opportunity to compete for something,” Seitz said.
FC Dallas has also acquired Peru National Team goalkeeper Raul Fernandez, setting up a competition for the No. 1 spot.
“We’ll battle it out. We’ll learn to be friends,” Seitz said of the soon to arrive Peruvian. “We’re going to learn about each other. We’re all one big family, the goalkeepers.”
Hyndman said he looks forward to seeing what Seitz can do with the opportunity.
“I think he feels really good about himself. I think he’s playing with more confidence,” Hyndman said. “I think now he has that freedom to step up and say it’s a position that I’m trying to take – that number one position.”