Hartman boosts FCD depth

Two-time MLS Cup winner could challenge Sala for starting job

The FC Dallas goalkeeping ranks added a big name with Monday's
announcement that club had signed 35-year-old goalkeeper Kevin Hartman,
most recently of the Kansas City Wizards. At least initially, Hartman is
thought to be fellow 35-year-old and current starter Dario Sala's
backup but the four-time all-star and two-time MLS Cup champion could
challenge the Argentinean in fairly short order for the No. 1 spot.

"I'm excited to be in Dallas. The organization really kind of stepped up
at a time when rosters are virtually locked up, which says a lot about
the coaches and the organization," Hartman said. "My hopes are to come
in, work hard, get some respect from my teammates and to try and win a
championship."

With FCD, he already has several familiar faces from his decade spent
with the Los Angeles Galaxy.

"In the past, I played with Ugo Ihemelu and Daniel Hernandez when I was
with the Galaxy. I played with Heath (Pearce), Dax (McCarty) and Jeff
(Cunningham) with the (U.S.) national team. I know Dario (Sala) from
players' union stuff and off-field type things," he said. "They're all
great individuals and solid guys. They're all wonderful players. I look
forward to catching up with them all."

One of Hartman's new teammates has already welcomed him to Frisco.

"Ugo (Ihemelu) already shot me a message on Facebook welcoming me to the
team. I look forward to getting in there to the locker room tomorrow,
saying hello to everybody and meeting some new guys. I had the
opportunity to train today with the goalkeeper coach in Dallas, Drew
(Keeshan) and met some of the coaches," he said. "I actually trained
with a young goalkeeper by the name of Sean (Kelley). It's cool. You get
to meet new people and try to branch out a little bit. I like the whole
change thing."

With the move to FCD, Hartman will now call Pizza Hut Park home, the
site of the Galaxy's win in MLS Cup 2005, their second league
championship.

"Yeah, it's funny because a lot of the pictures I have on my computer
are from great moments in my career and a lot of them are from Pizza Hut
Park. We were able to win the double in 2005 and that was the
culmination of everything," he said. "It was great. The facilities here
have been unbelievable. I've been amazed at how great everything is
here. There is everything that a professional athlete could ask for.
Everything is first class."

However, the last time he was in Frisco, he was on the losing end of an
FCD 6-0 barrage last summer, Curt Onalfo's last game as head coach of
the Wizards.

"Dallas was very, very good. There is no denying that," Hartman
recalled. "Obviously, Jeff Cunningham was in great form and they just
really took advantage of us. It was one of those things where everything
that could go right for Dallas went right and unfortunately for Kansas
City, it was just the opposite. There are going to be times like that
and it's all just a matter of how you react to it. I was able to get
through it and hopefully, it's made me a better player. You learn from
every mistake you make and you want to try and not repeat them."

Hartman plans to wear the same number he did in K.C.

"I'll probably wear No. 1. Nobody else is using it and it seems like a
sound goalkeeper number," he said. "I was actually wearing No. 22 the
entire time that I was in Los Angeles, so that was 10 years I was
wearing that number. Then, when I went to Kansas City, I wore No. 1. No.
22 actually has special meaning but I'm content with No. 1. I'm not
that big of a numerologist but No. 1, No. 22, No. 18, there are certain
numbers that are usually goalkeeper numbers. Since 1 was available, I
figured I'd grab it."

The deal to bring Hartman to Dallas started coming together about one
week ago. Hartman did not have his contract renewed by the Wizards,
though that club still held his rights within MLS.

"I think it was probably early last week that we started talking. Then, I
received a call from the higher-ups with the new organization that they
wanted to bring me in," Hartman said. "They asked me if I was
interested and I was absolutely interested. I think I was in such an
awkward spot that if I had known in November that I wouldn't be with
Kansas City any more, there are a lot more opportunity to look at the
international transfer market and go look at a bunch of different
things.

"But to be in February or early March looking for a club is not very
convenient for anybody. So then, it just became a matter of trying to
make the numbers work. It was going to be a multi-year deal. I
understood that this year, I would take a hit but if I was able to prove
my worth, I wanted to get back to where I was previously. That was one
of the things that we worked out. It was mutually beneficial. I was able
to get here on Sunday night and get my physicals done. It was able to
be finalized yesterday afternoon."

Hartman will join his new club for a six-day trip to Tampa where FCD
plays a pair of matches beginning Wednesday.