FRISCO - A week was all it took for Jimmy Maurer and FC Dallas to know they were a match.
“It was something that made me feel very comfortable,” the newest FCD signing said on Thursday. “I think it helped a lot to even have that short stint for both sides to be able to familiarize ourselves and definitely made this process go a lot smoother.”
Maurer was brought in on a short-term loan ahead of July 22’s match in Montreal with normal starter Jesse Gonzalez on international duty and no one left on the roster to back up Chris Seitz in goal. He trained in Frisco during the week and traveled with the team to Quebec, but being in the locker room and around the culture for just a few short days gave the 29-year-old a glimpse of exactly what he was looking for in his next step.
“I’ve had opportunities in the past, but they didn't feel right for whatever reason, different things,” Maurer said of making the jump to MLS after five seasons with the NASL’s New York Cosmos. “Just the vibe you get from the players and how they speak about [head coach Oscar Pareja]. Being in for a short week I was able to have a couple conversations with him, but I think it's even more about how the players view him. The guys that have been there with him and the guys that are really in day-in and day-out with him, they just speak so highly of him that he's a players' coach and he really takes care of his guys and that's all you can ask for as a player.”
A bit of a journeyman prior to signing in New York in 2013, Maurer was taken in the 2011 Supplemental Draft by the New York Red Bulls, but never appeared for the club, spending that season in the NASL with Atlanta Silverbacks and playing 17 matches. The ‘keeper spent the 2012 season with Universidad de Concepcion in Chile (where he and his wife were featured in an episode of HGTV’s House Hunters International during their move) before finding his home with the Cosmos, where he backstopped the team to back-to-back NASL titles in 2015 and 2016 and was named to the NASL Best XI in 2014.
“He is used to winning and I always say that winning is a habit. When you have someone who knows what it takes to win will help everyone else,” Technical Director Fernando Clavijo said of the three-time NASL champion. “He’s a goalkeeper that has had an impact during his career, but at the same time it’s someone who is young, who is still learning, who is going to push hard with Jesse [Gonzalez] for that No. 1 position.”
Although Maurer has yet to meet the Homegrown, he’s very familiar with Gonzalez’s quick rise and promising future.
“I've been watching him these last few years and I think he's an amazing goalkeeper and I'm excited to be able to work with him on daily basis,” he said. “Hopefully I can push him and he can push me and we can both make each other better. Goalkeeping is a very unique animal with the way you're competing, but you're also teammates. That's what it's all about. You're able to compete and push each other to the limits, but at the same time support each other.”