Onstad likely to start remaining games

Injury to backup Tally Hall will keep the veteran in goal

Dynamo goalkeeper Pat Onstad continues to be bothered by an injury to his hand, but the veteran netminder was still in practice on Friday morning and looks set to start again in goal for Houston against the New England Revolution on Sunday. 

“I am coming along pretty good,” Onstad said earlier this week. “It’s been a long season, and I’ve never felt 100 percent healthy, but there are three games left, and I want to play in each of them and hopefully get some results.” 

Onstad may have to play regardless of how close he is to 100 percent. Backup goalkeeper Tally Hall continues to be hindered by the high ankle sprain that has plagued him for several weeks. Hall will miss the match against the Revolution and, while he hopes to play again before the end of the season, the likelihood of him fully recovering in time is another story.

“It feels better,” Hall said. “I’ll take every day they give me this week and see where it is. I can’t put a timeline on it, as that might push me into bad decisions.” 

The timing of Hall's injury could hardly be worse. With the Dynamo now officially eliminated from playoff contention, it seemed as though he would get some chances in net as Houston played out the schedule. But the injury seems to guarantee that Onstad will play the last three games of the season. 

“It’s frustrating,” Hall said. “Being injured sucks. I try to put playing time out of my head and just need to do what I can to get ready to get back on the field.” 

Onstad, meanwhile, has been keeping an eye on the USL playoffs, as the Portland Timbers and his hometown Vancouver Whitecaps are squaring off. He is excited for both teams to enter the league.

“Vancouver and Portland will be a fantastic atmosphere,” he said. 

Onstad was left unprotected during last year’s expansion draft, and with both Portland and Vancouver set to enter MLS in 2011, the possibility that Onstad could make a return to the Northwest remains.

“Is there interest?” Onstad said of the situation. "Sure, there is always interest to play. But in terms of playing, I find it reasonably hard to see myself playing anywhere but here. I love [Houston], and Dom and I will sit down at the end of the year to discuss what his plans are and what my plans are, and we’ll take it from there.”

Dwain Capodice is a contributor to MLSsoccer.com.  Questions or Comments can be sent via email to dwaincapodice@gmail.com.