D.C. United’s lone Supplemental Draft pick, BlakeBrettschneider, signed his first professional contract just last week, inking a developmentaldeal with the club.
Since then, he earned the start at forward for DCin the Carolina Challenge Cup on Wednesday night alongside Charlie Davies and scoredthe lone goal in United’s 1-0 win over the Chicago Fire, the club’s secondstraight win in the competition.
“Getting to play with [Davies] is a great experience,”Brettschneider told MLSsoccer.com by phone. “He’s a very good forward, knows what he’sdoing. He's been around and been in some very big games.”
The midweek tally increased Brettschneider's preseason goal total tofour. And while he’s not getting carried away with those numbers, signing the contract came as a relief given all the hard work he's put in after being drafted.
“It’s a little weight off your shoulders and makes things alittle bit easier,” Brettschneider said.
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Even though he’s now an official member of the team,the former University of South Carolina player is concentrated on improving. He’s been working hard and closely observing the veteran forwards on the squad like Josh Wolff and Joseph Ngwenya.
“I’ve got great older guys to learn from,” Brettschneidersaid. “Each day when I go to practice, I try to watch them and study them andtry to pick up on the little things I can do better and make my game better.”
One thing that caught the attention of the coaching staffwhile he was playing at South Carolina was his versatility – and he’s been usedout wide during the preseason in addition to striker.
“If you ask him, he doesn’t really care,” assistant coachChad Ashton said. “He just wants to get on the field.”
With a spot on the roster secure, the next hurdle for the21-year-old is earning some minutes on the field. The competition will be fierceand although the reserve team seems more likely in the early going, Brettschneiderwants to suit up on game day with the senior side.
“Like anyone on this team, you want to play,” he said. “Thenext step for me is getting in and being part of the 18 to dress for each game, getting to travel.”