For the first time since arriving in Houston, the Dynamo may have a goalkeeper controversy on their hands. Pat Onstad returns from injury this week, but his backup, Tally Hall, has performed well in his stead. However, when asked whether he had a tough selection decision to make, head coach Dominic Kinnear was frank.
“No, not really,” Kinnear said. “Pat’s been great for a lot of years, so for an injury to knock him out of the lineup would be kind of unjust. … But Tally has done well for us.”
Onstad, who flew to Germany earlier in the month to have surgery on a bilateral abdominal strain, was listed as a substitute against New England on Saturday for the first time since the surgery and has targeted Saturday's match against Chicago for his return.
“I’ll try to get 3-4 good sessions in and try to be ready for Saturday,” Onstad said after Monday’s practice. “[Who starts] will be up to Dom. If I'm unable to play at 100 percent, I shouldn’t be on the field. I think Tally’s done very well for us, and that is the only way I get on the field.”
In Onstad’s absence, Hall overcame an initial blunder against Columbus to bounce back and put in several solid performances.
“I feel like I played as well as I could, and I'm happy with my performances,” Hall said. “Dom has a job to do, and I don’t envy his role as a coach. If he wants to keep me on the field, I’ll do that with a smile on my face. If he wants me to back Pat up, I’ll do that with a smile on my face but be disappointed. I'm like any player that wants to be on the field.”
With Onstad, Houston gets a vocal leader in the back, whose experience allows him to make great decisions and always be positioned properly. In Hall, the Dynamo get an athletic, but less experienced, shot blocker.
“It’s great to have both available, as they both bring great qualities to our team,” defender Bobby Boswell said. “You ask any coach in this league, and they want to make tough decisions and have those options. Pat’s a seasoned veteran who has done this for a while, and Tally’s done very well with the opportunity that he has, and he’s made it tough for the coaches to make a decision.”
Dwain Capodice is a contributor to MLSsoccer.com. Questions or Comments can be sent via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.