Kevan George was thrilled to play in last weekend’s road match against Montreal. After all, it beats the game he has been playing for the past nine months.
You know, the waiting game.
“I was ecstatic,” he said after training this week. “I was very happy. I missed it a lot, and when I got out there I just breathed a sigh of relief because I’ve been waiting that moment. I welcome those moments.”
After earning the start in the Crew’s 2-1 loss at Montreal on July 8, 2012, George made just one more appearance when he came on in the final minute of the team’s regular-season finale against Toronto. In his return to Montreal, the midfielder came on as a substitute for Danny O’Rourke and played the final eight minutes of a 1-1 draw against the Impact.
He earned the nod rather than Matias Sanchez, who had been fulfilling that late-game substitution role, in large part due to his height, head coach Robert Warzycha said. George stands 6-foot-2 while Sanchez checks in at 5-foot-8.
While George said he has used the time to learn from players ahead of him like Tony Tchani, Agustin Viana and O’Rourke, “It’s been very tough mentally. Obviously you want to play. You can’t compare this level to the collegiate level. It’s completely different. I just want to learn and get better, and if I have to sit behind those guys for a little (bit), then I have to. It’s the coach’s decision and I just try to keep getting better every day.”
George played a little center back during the preseason, but when asked about it he chuckled and said he is more comfortable as a midfielder.
“That’s where I’ve played all my life, but I can learn a bit from center back,” he said. “The coaches threw me back there a couple times in the reserve games last year and they liked how I looked. They’ve been trying me there. I didn’t know I could play center back until they threw me back there. It’s just adding to my game.”