It’s one thing to watch an MLS match from high above in the CenturyLink Field press box. It is quite another to be down on the field when 39,240 fans welcome the starting lineups to the field with the driving, rhythmic “Boom, Boom, Clap” entry that has become a staple at Sounders FC home matches.
That is among the lessons Dylan Remick learned in his first MLS start on Saturday, as Sounders FC shutout Sporting Kansas City, 1-0, in the first regular season match of the 2014 season.
“It was crazy. I’ve been in the booth and on the bench a few times but to actually be the one walking out when the ‘Boom, Boom, Clap’ goes and the national anthem…it’s just something I’ll never forget,” Remick said. “One of those things that are pretty special and definitely have the adrenaline and chills going, so I got pretty pumped up for the game.”
Remick is filling in for Leo Gonzalez while the sixth-year Sounders left back recovers from offseason groin surgery. However, his preseason performance in matches Seattle played in Tucson and Charleston gave coaches the confidence to give him the start on opening day against the defending MLS Cup champions.
His performance showed some signs of his inexperience, but also his promise and desire.
“I think he can play better. He would say that to you, as well. He knows he can play better than he played tonight,” Sounders FC Head Coach Sigi Schmid said. “A little bit of nerves, a little bit of uncertainty, but that is something with more games it will go away.”
Remick owes a lot of his opportunities to Gonzalez – and not just because Gonzalez’s injury led to Remick seeing the field.
Gonzalez is one of several players who have taken to Remick to help the 22-year-old Brown University product thrive despite playing only 25 minutes in one regular season appearance in his rookie season in 2013.
“It’s never good to get an opportunity because someone’s hurt – especially Leo who has been so helpful to me in my progression as a player,” Remick said. “All of my teammates - Brad, Ozzie, Djimi, Chad, DeAndre - they’re all so helpful to me in the game, helped me in preseason sort of find my rhythm and feel comfortable playing with them. They just make it easy for me to play. I’m just fortunate they’re so helpful. I just took it from there, relishing the opportunity just enjoying it all.”
To Remick, Saturday’s match was just the first in what he hopes to be a long career in MLS.
“It was great to get the shutout and the win for the team. But for me, it was good to get the first game under my belt. I know I have a lot of ways to improve, but it’s a journey and I’m excited that it’s started,” he said. “We’ll see where it goes from here.”