Pat Onstad retires; joins D.C. staff

Onstad retires as club leader in games started and minutes played

HOU_20090419_Onstad_Save_of_the_Year

Photo Credit: 
Thomas B. Shea / Getty Images

Goalkeeper
Pat Onstad, who led the Dynamo to consecutive MLS Cup championships and served
as the team’s backstop for its first five seasons, announced his retirement on
Tuesday to accept a position on the coaching staff at D.C. United. 

“Pat
has been an instrumental part of our club over the last five seasons,” Dynamo
president Chris Canetti said. “We are very thankful for all he has done, on and
off the field, to contribute to the Dynamo’s success. He will always be fondly
respected and remembered by our fans and our organization. We wish him all the
best in the future and congratulate him on an amazing playing career.” 

Onstad,
who will turn 43 in January, has been playing professional soccer since 1987
and became the oldest player in MLS history earlier this year. Born in Vancouver, the proud Canadian came to Major League Soccer
in 2003 with the San Jose Earthquakes and won Goalkeeper of the Year honors
while helping San Jose
to its second MLS Cup championship. Onstad was named Goalkeeper of the Year
again in 2005 when San Jose
won the Supporters’ Shield with the best regular-season record. 

When
the club moved to Houston prior to the 2006
season, Onstad came with it and helped the Dynamo to MLS Cup championships in
each of their first two years in Houston,
giving him three overall MLS Cup titles. He played a key role in the Dynamo leading
MLS with the fewest goals allowed in 2007, 2008, and 2009. 

“I
want to thank Pat for all he’s done for the organization, the staff, and all
the players, not just on our team but throughout the league,” Dynamo head coach
Dominic Kinnear said. “I know for a fact that if he shows the same dedication
and determination that he did as a player all these years, he’s going to make a
wonderful coach. I want to wish him luck, and from the bottom of my heart, I
thank him for all he’s done for the team.” 

Three
of the biggest saves of Onstad’s MLS career came on penalty kicks. In 2003, he
stopped Ante Razov in the MLS Cup final, the first penalty kick save in league
championship history. In 2006, he stopped Jay Heaps on the decisive penalty of
a shootout in the MLS Cup final, giving the Dynamo their first title. In 2009,
Onstad saved a Conor Casey penalty kick and a rebound to win the inaugural MLS
Save of the Year award and key an 11-game unbeaten streak. He was part of a
league-record 727-minute shutout streak in 2007 and made a key save to preserve
Houston’s 2-1
win in the 2007 MLS Cup final. 

Onstad,
who now holds dual citizenship in Canada
and the United States,
retires as the Dynamo club leader in games started (170), minutes (15,339), and
every goalkeeping standard, including 50 shutouts, in all competitions. In MLS
regular season history, he ranks as the league’s all-time leader in goals
against average (1.12) among goalkeepers with at least 10,000 minutes and third
among all qualifying goalkeepers. He also ranks fifth all-time with 64
shutouts. In career postseason games, Onstad was 10-7-4 with a 1.23 GAA. A
summary of his statistics can be found below.

Internationally,
Onstad made 57 appearances for Canada
– a record for a Canadian goalkeeper – while playing from 1988-2010. He posted
21 shutouts, a Canadian record. He helped Canada to the 2000 CONCACAF Gold
Cup championship and to the 2007 Gold Cup semifinals. 

Off
the field, Onstad is a devoted husband to wife Becky and father to Peyton,
Owen, and Abigail. He served as the Dynamo players’ representative to the MLS
Players Union. He has moonlighted as an assistant coach on Canadian youth
national teams and as a color analyst on broadcasts when injured. He holds a
USSF A coaching license and will now begin his full-time coaching career by
joining D.C. United. 

The Houston Dynamo are a
Major League Soccer club that has won two MLS Cup championships in its first
five seasons and represented the United States in international competition
four consecutive years from 2007-10. For more information, log on to
www.HoustonDynamo.com or call (713) 276-7500.  

MLS career ranks, regular season
1.12 GAA (3rd all-time, 1st among GKs with at least 10,000
mins.)64 shutouts (5th)
.580 winning percentage (7th; 2nd among those with at
least 100 games)
92 wins (7th)
220 games, starts (8th among GKs)
19,806 minutes (8th among GKs)
690 saves (8th)