FRISCO - It’s a little bit of déjà vu for Chris Seitz.
Flash back to late March, 2016. The young Homegrown Jesse Gonzalez, months removed from taking over the starting position in goal during a 2015 playoff run, is called in to an Olympic tune up camp for the Mexican U-23 National Team. Seitz, a seeming career backup keeper with more than 10 starts in just two of his nine seasons, earns his first start of 2016 for a match in D.C. A 3-0, shutout victory there launches a career season that sees Gonzalez make just three more MLS starts on the year.
It’s one of the many examples that Oscar Pareja rides the hot hand - a luxury he has with two starting-quality backstops on his roster.
This weekend, as FC Dallas heads to Montreal, it’s Chris Seitz who will get the nod once again with Gonzalez on international duty - this time with his new U.S. teammates.
“You look at last year and it took something like this for me to get an opportunity and I made the most of it last year and I look forward to the opportunity this year,” Seitz said this week. “All we can do as players is make their (coaches) decisions difficult. Hopefully that's what I've been doing in the past couple months and hopefully I have an opportunity this weekend to show I deserve a chance.”
Early in his eleventh MLS season, the veteran goalkeeper was Dallas’ go-to guy once again until Gonzalez was given a chance after the club’s elimination from CONCACAF Champions League play, a chance the 22-year-old ran with.
Ever since, Seitz has been eager to get back and show what he’s got.
“I think my record speaks of itself,” he said. “I’ve been really successful with every opportunity I've had and I look forward to continuing that, my mindset won't change.”
“Our goalkeeper situation is unbelievable,” defender Walker Zimmerman said. “Jesse deserves this, I'm excited for him to get that opportunity and get a chance to play [for the National Team]. For Seitz, he's been around for a while, he knows what it takes to win in this league. I know he's jumping at the bit to get this opportunity and I know he's ready.”
Competitors for the same job, the two ‘keepers push each other every day - both on and off the field - to be better, knowing that complacency could spell a spot on the bench.
“It's got to be nice for the team (having two quality goalkeepers), it's probably frustrating for us,” Seitz said with a laugh. “We battle each other every day and we've both gotten lot better because of it. We have good training together and we get along real well, there's no animosity between us, but at the same time we both want it. We both know it's important for us to have it to continue our careers.”
Will history repeat itself in goal for Dallas in Montreal this weekend? C’est possible.