“The pace of the game is faster” is a cliché when moving into a major league of any sport from college. According to FC Dallas’ 2016 draft picks, who are currently involved in their first training sessions with a pro team after leaving college, the cliché holds true.
“It’s been amazing, just the change of level from college to MLS training it’s a huge jump,” Jacob Speed, the team’s fourth-rounder out of SMU, said. “[The] pace is a lot faster. You know, at college level there’s just a couple of players that can play like that and here everybody can.”
Timo Pitter, the second round winger out of Creighton who FC Dallas acquired after trading the 37th and 58th selections to move up in the round, backs it up.
“The difference is that there’s a lot more touches, a lot more possession, [more] speed.”
Even for keepers, the pace of the game is different.
“I think it takes about a week or so just to get adjusted to style of play and pace and everything,” said Ryan Herman, the team’s first rounder out of Washington.
The other thing Herman has had to adjust to is being in a locker room with a large number of Spanish speakers.
“It’s been tough settling in because of the language barrier, trying to learn Spanish every day. You know just getting ready,” he said. “With keepers it´s all English, but I don’t mind Spanish at all. It’s just to learning curve, but i think I’m getting there.”
The 6-foot-7 keeper, who models his game after former Netherlands international Edwin van der Sar, said the main goal right now is making the roster.
“First off, I think it’s important just to make the roster. Just keep working hard to make the roster and see where it goes from there,” he said. “I’ve been here before, and I’m excited to work and I’ll be helping push those guys and helping them work harder, so, I mean, we’ll see what happens from there.”
“First I have to make the team,” added Speed, who also has his mind set on earning a roster spot and a contract. “And then just keep on grinding.”
And if his hard work does pay off in the form of a contract, he already knows his first call.
“[I’d] probably call my mom, thank her for everything she’s done for me,” he said smiling.