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Dynamo goalie still posting shutouts at 41


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Good article about Onstad:


Dynamo goalie still posting shutouts at 41

Houston in town for U.S. Open Cup vs. Aztex.

By Michael Sherfield


Wednesday, July 01, 2009

The silver streaks in his hair and the gray stubble of his beard betray him, even when the numbers don't. They show seven clean sheets, a measly 10 goals allowed in 15 games.

At 41, Pat Onstad is the old man of Major League Soccer, but that hasn't stopped him from adding to his legacy as one of the most successful goalkeepers in MLS history.

Onstad forms the heart and last line of defense for the Houston Dynamo, the best defensive team in the MLS and the leader in the Western Conference. His résumé lists three MLS Cup championships, and he had a crucial hand — or two — in setting the league's all-time shutout record, a span of 727 minutes without allowing a goal in 2007.

"People ask me about Pat, 'What's his secret?' " Dynamo coach Dominic Kinnear said. "He's very good at what he does. There's no magic to him. He takes care of himself, and he has a lot of talent."

Tonight, Onstad's Dynamo will face the Austin Aztex in the third round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, the U.S. Soccer Federation's national championship.

The tournament, the oldest in American soccer, is open to all amateur and professional teams affiliated with the federation.

The winner of the match between the Aztex and Dynamo will advance to the tournament quarterfinals and face the Charleston Battery, a United Soccer League First Division club like Austin that beat the MLS' Chivas USA 3-1.

A Canadian, Onstad finally joined a team south of the border in 1998, signing on with the Rochester Raging Rhinos of the A-League, now known as the United Soccer League. In 1999, Onstad played a part as Rochester became the only non-MLS club to win the U.S. Open Cup.

Since coming to the MLS in 2003, Onstad has led his clubs to three league championships, including two with the Dynamo. Houston has led the MLS in fewest goals allowed over the past 21/2 seasons, and Onstad's career average of 1.07 goals allowed per game is the lowest in league history.

To Onstad, none of his team's victories was more special than the one in the final game of the 2006 season.

Just hours away from Houston in Frisco's Pizza Hut Park, Onstad and the Dynamo staged a last-minute comeback to claim their first MLS title, topping the New England Revolution in a penalty shootout after a 1-1 draw. Onstad saved the final kick to secure the title.

"That's the one people always bring up," he said. "It was special to be by myself for about three seconds before being absolutely mobbed. I just looked out to see a sea of orange, all the fans going crazy."

The next season brought the Dynamo another title — again over the Revolution in the final — and Onstad combined with backup goalkeeper Zach Wells for the longest shutout streak in league history.

"I wasn't really aware of it until the last few games," Onstad said. "Zach played a big part of that, but winning games is really what's important to me. If we're keeping clean sheets, that helps."

With seven shutouts this season, Onstad already has matched last season's total, despite playing behind a defense missing injured 33-year-old defenders Craig Waibel and Wade Barrett.

"Even if those guys were playing, I'd still be the old dog," Onstad joked. "I think I'm more conservative now than when I was younger. I know what you can and can't do. I'm honest with myself."

In spurring an 11-game unbeaten streak that finally ended with a 1-0 loss to the Galaxy on Sunday in Los Angeles, Onstad conceded only four goals.

Along the way, he's become a fan favorite at Robertson Stadium in Houston, where the orange-clad army cheers, "You'll never beat Pat Onstad!" after every save he makes.

So how much longer will Onstad go on before finally hanging up his gloves?

"When it comes to that, I'm not realistic," he said. "I want to keep going until I'm 50. As long as Dom keeps selecting me, I'm going to keep playing."

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"Since coming to the MLS in 2003, Onstad has led his clubs to three league championships, including two with the Dynamo. Houston has led the MLS in fewest goals allowed over the past 21/2 seasons, and Onstad's career average of 1.07 goals allowed per game is the lowest in league history."

crazy stats, eh?

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The purpose of this thread is to acknowledge the great season Pat Onstad is having, not remembering bad performances of the past.

Onstad is arguable the Canadian player having the best club season so far in 2008/2009 in term of personnal and team performances. I'm glad he's still capable of such consistency at his age. Even for keepers, 41 is starting to be really old.

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"...not remembering bad performances of the past."

OK sure but can anyone forget it?

Onstad and DeRo may be legends of the MLS but for Canada fans that legacy is tainted.

The Gold Cup kids look good though!

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quote:Originally posted by loyola

I think Preki played when he was 42, but I'm not sure.

Yeah Preki was the oldest. I found this info about the 25 oldest players in MLS on the web

All ages accurate as of April 4, 2009. Check out number 5!!

Top 25 Oldest MLS Players - REGULAR SEASON ONLY

Age Team Year

1 Preki 42.31 KC 2005

2 Onstad, Pat 41.22 HOU 2009

3 Valderrama, Carlos 41.05 COL 2002

4 Suarez, Claudio 39.67 CHV 2009

5 Titus, Rick 39.49 TOR 2008

6 Matthaus, Lothar 39.47 NY 2000

7 Zenga, Walter 39.37 NE 1999

8 Keller, Kasey 39.35 SEA 2009

9 Dooley, Tom 39.32 NY 2000

10 Ravelli, Thomas 39.12 TB 1998

11 Warzycha, Robert 39.07 CLB 2002

12 Fraser, Robin 38.83 CLB 2005

13 Djorkaeff, Youri 38.60 NY 2006

14 Johnston, Mo 38.33 KC 2001

15 Nowak, Peter 38.21 CHI 2002

16 Sanchez, Hugo 38.20 DAL 1996

17 Hislop, Shaka 38.18 DAL 2007

18 Haynes, Brian 38.00 DAL 2000

19 Sanneh, Tony 37.84 LA 2009

20 Stoitchkov, Hristo 37.71 DC 2003

21 Kubik, Lubos 37.63 DAL 2001

22 Meola, Tony 37.59 NY 2006

23 Agoos, Jeff 37.46 NY 2005

24 Lima, Francisco 37.39 SJ 2008

25 Jones, Cobi 37.35 LA 2007

Four active players on the list: Onstad, Suarez, Keller, Sanneh.

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