A big component of player development is having the opportunity to learn from successes and failures.
“Every game is a learning experience. You learn when you play well and you learn when you play poorly. You learn when you play middle of the road,” Sounders FC Head Coach Sigi Schmid said. “If you’re a student of the game and you want to play better, each game becomes a learning experience for you.”
On Monday, Dylan Remick chalked up his return from injury to start against the LA Galaxy as a learning experience. The second-year Sounders FC left back was limited to just 19 minutes over Seattle’s last nine matches, but moved into the starting lineup when Chad Marshall was scratched because of back spasms.
There are certainly easier ways to get back into the flow of playing regular minutes than facing the LA Galaxy and Remick admittedly showed some rust in the first parts of the match. However, once he got back into the rhythm, he acquitted himself much better and looked much more like the player that started four straight matches to open the season while Leo Gonzalez recovered from off-season surgery.
“It took some time and I wasn’t my best out there, but it was good to get back out there and now I can just improve,” Remick said. “The first half wasn’t as good as I hoped, but the second half, I felt more confident and now I just have to continue from there and play my game.”
In the nearly three months since his last start, Remick has started in three MLS Reserve League matches. However, because of injuries, he has needed to shift over to center back. There, he has shown the ability to compete, but it limited the use of Remick’s best asset – his speed.
It has also allowed him to watch from afar and take further lessons from Leo Gonzalez and the rest of the backline as he continues to learn how to best play his role. What he’s learning isn’t just the nuance of the position though. He’s also learning each day how to be a pro.
“You pick up tricks of the trade and see if I can implement them in my game. A lot of it is just mental – the adversity of going through an injury and seeing how other guys have come back stronger than ever,” said Remick, who was a sectional sprint champion in addition to being Ivy League educated at Brown University. “That’s something I want to bring to my game, being mentally strong, especially after a game like that. Pick myself up, pick the team up and move on to the next game.”
Seattle’s next game is Saturday when Sounders FC faces the San Jose Earthquakes at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara. The first sporting event at the San Francisco 49ers’ new stadium, Saturday’s match will be televised national on NBC Sports.