Thursday, December 23, 2010

Onstad announces his retirement as a player

Canadian soccer legend Pat Onstad has officially made the switch from the active roster to the coaching staff. The 42-year old Major League Soccer goalkeeper has announced his retirement from Houston Dynamo to become an assistant coach alongside Chad Ashton with D.C. United.

Onstad spent 23 years as a member of Canada's national team, having made his debut at age 20 on 18 February 1988 in Hamilton, Bermuda. His last international appearance was 24 May 2010 in front of 66,000 fans at River Plate Stadium in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
In all, he made 57 appearances for his country, a national record for goalkeepers. He also established national records for most clean sheets (21) as well as most clean sheets in FIFA World Cup™ Qualifiers (8).

"Pat is an inspiration to many through his dedication to his profession and for his achievements in the game," said national coach Stephen Hart. "Never hesitant to answer the call to represent Canada, Pat remains a model to many aspiring young players."

Onstad participated in one FIFA Confederations Cup (2001), six cycles of FIFA World Cup™ Qualifiers (18 matches), and five CONCACAF Gold Cups (1993, 1996, 2000, 2003 and 2007). He helped Canada win the CONCACAF Gold Cup in 2000, the country's second confederation championship.

He also participated in the 1991 North American Nations Cup, the 1987 Pan American Games, the 1987 FIFA U-20 World Cup, and the 1986 CONCACAF Men's Under-20 Championship (gold).

In Major League Soccer, Onstad won three MLS Cups, one with the San Jose Earthquakes (2003) and two more after the franchise moved and was renamed the Houston Dynamo (2006 and 2007). He was MLS Goalkeeper of the Year in 2003 and 2005, was part of the MLS Best XI in 2003 and 2005, and produced the MLS Save of the Year in 2009.

Along with his three MLS Cup championships, he also won an A-League title (1998) and a U.S. Open Cup (1999) with the Rochester Rhinos, a Challenge Trophy senior men's championship with the Vancouver Westside Rinos (1993), a Canadian Soccer League championship with the Winnipeg Fury (1992), and three Sam Davidson Trophy national championships with the University of British Columbia.

Onstad holds a USSF A Coaching License. He has already been engaged this past season as an assistant coach to Tony Fonseca with Canada's men's U-23 / Olympic program.

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