Donovan Pines earned his fourth start of the 2019 MLS season on Saturday night, playing as a part of a back three alongside Steven Birnbaum and Frederic Brilliant against the Columbus Crew. With injuries on the backline and an increasingly demanding match schedule, Pines has become an important asset for Head Coach Ben Olsen. With three wins in four matches under his belt, Pines says he is living the dream.
“Honestly, it’s a dream come true,” Pines said after D.C.’s 3-1 win over Columbus. “I’m having the time of my life right now and living the dream. It’s just really good. I’m having a really good time. I’m a homegrown, it’s close to home, so I’m just really glad I’m playing for D.C. United.”
For Pines, that dream come true includes learning from veteran center backs like Frederic Brilliant and Steve Birnbaum, and other Homegrown players like Jalen Robinson.
“I just love learning,” Pines said. “Learning from the center backs on this team, all the guys in the back, and they’ve just taken me under their wing and they’re helping me out. It’s just been really a blessing to play with them and I just want to do the best I can for the team and for the players around me.”
Right now, Pines is just taking things one game at a time. But his confidence is growing, and it is showing on the field. He made a few critical plays on Saturday night, including running down Gyasi Zardes to stop a potential goal for Columbus.
“I thought he had a great game,” Olsen said after the match. “He bails us out with his legs, speed and ability to read the game. He’s going to be a good player for this team for years to come.”
Pines has had a bright start. And he’s looking forward to proving his worth, while crediting his coaches and teammates along the way.
“I’m just playing the game plan my coaches set up and I’m just doing the best I can,” Pines said. “And if they tell me to play in a certain position, I’ll do my best, and do what I can for the team.”