Tyler Deric never thought he would get to a second contract. When he signed his first professional contract at the age of 19, becoming the first Dynamo Academy player to sign a homegrown contract, he was a bright-eyed goalkeeper who had just completed his freshman year at the University of North Carolina.
Although Deric was a talented goalkeeping prospect, he entered the 2009 season last on the Dynamo’s depth chart behind two-time MLS Goalkeeper of the Year Pat Onstad and Tally Hall, a promising goalkeeper who had just returned from a two-year stint overseas.
“If you told me after my first year that I would be re-signing my contract in three years, I would probably have said you were lying,” Deric said.
For two years, Deric waited and worked. As the third-string goalkeeper, he was relegated to limited reps during training, but was more often than not called upon to stay after and field shot after shot from head coach Dominic Kinnear and then-assistant coach John Spencer.
“I think over the past four years I have gained a lot of confidence,” the Houston native said. “You don’t know what to expect your first year and it’s tough. You just have to keep your head up and make sure each day you can say you tried your best.”
Now, four years after he signed his first professional contract, Deric will enter an MLS season fighting for the starting position. Although he has only three regular season games under his belt, the 24-year-old is not short on experience. This past year, Deric led the Dynamo out of their CONCACAF Champions League group and into next year’s quarterfinals. He also led the Dynamo Reserves to the 2012 MLS Reserve League Central/Mountain Division title with a 6-2-1 record and a 1.1 goals against average.
At this year’s season-ending press conference Dynamo president Chris Canetti spoke about the MLS Academy system, and how it would take years before its potential is reached. Canetti believes re-signing Deric is one step toward the club reaching that mark.
“I think Tyler [Deric] is a great example of where our Academy system works and where it provides value to the club,” Canetti said. “He is a guy that has had a role on the team every day since he has been here, and when you can have a guy in your Academy that can play a role like that, I think there is huge value. He is one of the brightest young goalkeepers in the country, who doesn’t get enough credit because he is playing behind another bright, young American goalkeeper.”