HOUSTON – For nearly two years, Tyler Deric has come to Houston Dynamo practice knowing full well that as the team’s third goalkeeper, the likelihood of getting playing time was small at best.
But Deric came to practice each day, put in a solid effort and slowly began to improve. Last Saturday, his hard work paid off as he earned his first start.
“We don’t pick guys for charity,” head coach Dominic Kinnear said. “We pick them if we think they can help us. I think he’s improved a lot over the last 12 months, and I think the way Pat [Onstad], Tally [Hall] and Tim [Hanley, Dynamo goalkeeper coach] treat him shows.”
Rather than tell the young ‘keeper earlier in the week about the start, Kinnear waited until the day of the game to tell Deric he would be playing.
“That morning I was walking back from breakfast and they waved me over,” Deric explained. “I said, 'Cool, let’s do it,' and then I went to the hotel room and called all my friends and family and told them to watch the game.”
They watched Deric post a shutout in his first ever MLS game in front of a hostile crowd at Buck Shaw Stadium.
“The way it worked out was a little fairytale to go on the road against some guys that don’t like us and get three points,” Hanley said. “But there is nothing like a game in front of your teammates to help you fit in and show that you can contribute. He has to feel great that he’s really a part of it now.”
Deric’s shutout allowed the Dynamo to battle out a 1-0 win over the Quakes, and Kinnear came out impressed.
“He didn’t do anything dynamic, but he held some low balls at the end there, he came out well on crosses, and his kicking was good,” Kinnear said. “Overall, you have to say it was a good performance.”
Deric’s start was the first ever MLS by a Houston academy product.
“It’s a great achievement to get that first game under your belt,” Deric said. “It’s a good boost of confidence and motivation with the offseason coming up to try and get more prepared for next year knowing that I had a game.”
Dwain Capodice is a contributor to MLSsoccer.com. Questions or Comments can be sent via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.