With a hugely talented group of goalkeepers invited to the 2018 MLS Player Combine, Butler and OKC Energy U23 alum Eric Dick entered the week-long event determined to prove his value ahead of Friday’s SuperDraft.
After redshirting his freshman season, Dick played four years at Butler, elevating himself from highly-touted prospect to SuperDraft candidate in the Big East. Over his stellar career, Dick recorded 28 shutouts, posted a 0.92 goals-against average and saved over 80 percent of the shots he faced. His ability was never more evident than his senior seasons, in which Dick was named to the United Soccer Coach’s All-American First Team, All-Big East First Team and the Big East Goalkeeper of the Year.
“My senior season was a different one from my previous years at Butler,” Dick told USLPDL.com. “We started off with a slightly depleted roster, having lost two of our starting midfielders, one last spring and one in the very beginning of the season. For me, being a captain, it was just a matter of trying to get everything out of everyone each day, trying to keep the energy high. It was an all-time team effort this year, I owe everything to the ten guys in front of me. We got 100 percent out of everyone on the field and entered every game thinking we could win, and as a result we had a great season.”
Prior to his standout senior season, Dick enjoyed a strong summer in the Premier Development League with the OKC Energy U23. Over the course of the 14-match season, Dick allowed just 10 goals, good for a 0.71 goals-against average, while saving 81.5 percent of the shots he faced. His work in goal allowed the Energy U23 to finish atop the Mid South Division with a stellar 12-1-1 record and a plus-29 goal differential.
“I loved my summers in the PDL,” Dick said. “I hadn’t previously had the chance to get out there in the summer, and the group we had there I thought was one of the most talented teams I’ve ever played with. We had a great season there, and then being able to train with the USL team gave me a lot of good experience I was able to take into the fall season and that I’ll continue to take forward.”
The work that he got with the Energy U23 allowed Dick to raise his game in his senior season with the Bulldogs and place himself firmly into the upper echelon of the 2018 SuperDraft prospects. Though the Energy U23 came up short in the PDL playoffs, falling to FC Miami City in the Southern Conference semifinals, Dick’s time in goal enabled him to develop from a good goalkeeper into one of the best in the nation.
“I think the PDL is a faster speed,” said Dick. “I think the league is a group of very talented players. There’s so much talent around you fighting for a spot, just like you do at the next level, and there are really no games off. Sometimes in college you may face a weaker team, but the training and lifestyle is more professional in the PDL, which really prepares you for the next level and the pace of the game.”