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A first start for Shanosky

The homegrown defender on supporting D.C. United as a kid, earning first start

Conor Shanosky at Chicago Fire

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USA Today Sports Images

D.C. United homegrown player Conor Shanosky found out he was starting against the Chicago Fire around lunchtime on Saturday.

After being signed in August 2010, Shanosky had been on loan with Harrisburg City, Fort Lauderdale and Richmond. Thirty-five appearances in total for the Sterling, Va. native who plays holding midfield and center back before his first MLS start.

READ: A spotlight on homegrown defender, Conor Shanosky

When he heard the news from D.C. coach Ben Olsen, he wanted to tell his family, but… “I tried to downplay it and stuff because I didn’t want my family to get a little too emotional before the game,” he said. “I knew they were watching. They were obviously very happy. They wanted it just as much as me. I’m happy they got to see my play as well.”

Growing up, the now 21-year-old frequented RFK Stadium and watched the very team for which he made his debut Saturday. Shanosky started at center back alongside Daniel Woolard and played 64 minutes in United’s 2-0 loss.

“I’ve been coming here as a kid to watch games. This is a club that I’ve been dreaming of playing for for a while,” Shanosky said. “To actually get out on the field, it’s something that I might not even fully appreciate yet, but it’s definitely a cool feeling for me.”

One match prior, in the Open Cup, Shanosky also started for United against the very club he’s on loan with this season – the Richmond Kickers.

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The experience of being on the pitch with the starting XI – as opposed to watching on television or on the sideline – was a unique one for Shanosky.

“I was so frustrated after that Chicago game,” he said. “Obviously it’s your first game and you want to get a win. The guys deserve it. When you see them and you’re out there battling with them, you want to win for them and the coaches.

“When you see the away fans traveling, it is tough to lose and it’s something you don’t really understand until you’re out on the field. But it’s good to be out there. You want to be out there whether you win or lose.”

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