Fire defender Wyatt Omsberg “hungry for more” after 2022 season cut short

It took Fire defender Wyatt Omsberg three seconds to know something was wrong.

Late in the Fire’s 1-0 victory June 18 against D.C. United, Omsberg jumped for a header but landed awkwardly on his left foot. He initially was just upset that he couldn’t finish the game, but he realized pretty quickly that it was something more serious.

Unfortunately for the Fire, Omsberg was right. He tore ligaments in the foot and needed surgery, ending his breakout season.

After spending his career mostly as a backup, Omsberg took advantage of his chance to start and formed a dependable center-back pairing with captain Rafael Czichos. In an instant, however, Omsberg’s 14th game of the year turned into his last.

”It was tough for me,” Omsberg told the Sun-Times. ”I felt like I had worked so hard for so many years to get to that position, and I had grabbed it and had a pretty bright start. It was kind of everything I had worked for, and to have it taken away that fast . . . it was tough.”

Omsberg gave himself a couple of days to sulk and feel frustrated, but that phase didn’t last long. He soon realized he had to turn his focus toward rehabbing and getting healthy as quickly as he could.

Now Omsberg is ”really optimistic” he’ll be ready for training camp in January. During his recovery, Omsberg said it was important to stay as close to the team as possible. No, he wasn’t playing or practicing, but he maintained his connection to the squad, which kept his spirits high during a trying period.

”From the second I got hurt to, ‘OK, now it’s going to be a long-term injury,’ everyone was always so supportive in the locker room, just always asking how I’m doing, how’s my recovery process going,” Omsberg said. ”Pretty much every day, people would ask me how I was doing. [It was] to the point where I would kind of get annoyed because, ‘I’m not able to walk right now. I’m in a cast. Not much has changed in the past 24 hours.’

”But everyone was always super-nice, and the whole team — coaching staff, support staff, players — really kept me going and kept me staying positive throughout the whole process.”

Even with his injury, Omsberg figures to be a key part of the roster next season. The Fire picked up his 2023 option, and there was little doubt about his status. That’s a far cry from where he was a year ago, when he had started 15 games over four seasons with the Fire and Minnesota United.

Beyond just getting healthy, Omsberg’s goal is to build off his strong 2022 season, even if it was cut short.

”That first half of the season gave me a taste of what it’s like,” Omsberg said. ”I’m hungry for more. I don’t want to just get back to that point. I’m hungry for more and want to achieve more individually and as a group. Certainly, we want more.”

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