CHICAGO – Over the past two years, he found himself in and out of the Chicago Fire FC lineup, playing in five games in the pandemic-shortened 2020 season and then 18 in 2021.

Wyatt Omsberg had 11 total starts in that time in then manager Raphael Wicky’s lineup, but the changing of leadership on the field gave the center back a new chance to show what he could do for the club.

“I think Ezra (Hendrickson) and C.J. (Brown),and as a group, we talked about being hard-working and hard-nosed. I wanted to show that I can do that and that can be someone who is dependable and works hard and also makes things hard for the other team,” said Omsberg about what he wanted to show new manager Ezra Hendrickson and his staff.

He’s certainly been able to do that so far in the 2022 Major League Soccer season, as Omsberg has been one of the pleasant surprises of the Fire’s undefeated start to the season.

Omsberg has started all four matches so far and has been a part of the defense that has conceded an MLS-low one goal in four matches so far. He stepped in for the injured Carlos Teran and will continue to start when the Fire face FC Dallas on Saturday afternoon at a rainy Soldier Field.

In four matches so far, Omsberg has played in every minute and has been credited with eight interceptions as the club has had three clean sheets already. Hendrickson praised Omsberg’s play during his news conference on Wednesday and made it clear that he’ll be in the lineup for the foreseeable future.

“I think he started the season really, really well for us. He’s doing the job, “said Hendrickson. “You know, he replaced Carlos due to injury,but he stepped up and you will never know that he wasn’t the original starter. So that’s good for us to see. It makes us that much deeper and as long as he keeps playing well, he’ll get his minutes.

“Because one of the things we tell the players in preseason is you’re going to play here based on performance. There’s no favoritism and nothing is set in stone. Yeah, we have guys that we brought in that’s going to play, but if they are not performing and if the quality is not where we need it to be, we need to have guys on the bench that can step in.

“So, it’s good to see Wyatt step in like that, and it’s his job to lose now if I’m being honest.”

The compliment from the manager is encouraging for Omsberg, but he’s hardly resting on it as a long Fire season is just getting underway.

“I think there’s competition every day, pretty much every spot on the field with this team. I don’t take it for granted and I will continue to work hard every day to keep earning that spot in training and in the games,” said Omsberg. “So, yeah, regardless of what anyone says, I’m just going to keep competing, keep playing and hopefully we’ll continue to put out good performances.”