When Pat Onstad joined United’s coaching staff prior to the 2011 season, he thought his playing days were behind him. After injuries to two first team goalkeepers, however, Onstad was called upon to return to the field to start D.C.’s season between the pipes. The Canadian played in three games before returning to the bench full time as an Assistant Coach under Ben Olsen.

Widely considered to be one of the top goalkeepers in Major League Soccer history, Onstad was a stalwart in goal, playing with Houston and San Jose for a combined eight seasons. The 43-year old is the League’s all-time leader with a goals-against average mark of 1.12 (minimum 10,000 minutes played). With the Dynamo, Onstad started 136 regular season matches, helping the club win back-to-back MLS Cup titles in 2006 and 2007. Most recently, Onstad started 23 regular season games for Houston in 2010, registering four shutouts in 2,070 minutes on the field. During the 2006 campaign, Onstad played every minute of every match, barring a single U.S. Open Cup fixture. Following a 1-1 draw with New England in the 2006 MLS Cup Final, Onstad helped the Dynamo win its first title through a stunning display in the penalty shootout. In 2007, Onstad led the League with a 0.82 goals against average mark, finishing second in shutouts with 11. In the MLS Cup Final at RFK Stadium that season, the Vancouver native made seven saves.

Before his time in Houston, Onstad was a member of the San Jose Earthquakes, helping the club to raise its second MLS Cup in 2003 during his first season in the League. That same year, Onstad took home the MLS Goalkeeper of the Year Award and a spot on the MLS Best XI squad. He would replicate this feat in 2005, helping San Jose earn a Supporters’ Shield as the club went undefeated at home. Onstad also led the League in shutouts (12), goals-against average (0.97), and wins (18).

The Canadian international earned 57 caps throughout his career, most all-time for Canadian goalkeepers. Onstad recorded a record 21 shutouts for his country, and he is the longest-serving member of the squad in Canadian National Team history. Onstad made his debut on February 18, 1988 against Bermuda in a 0-0 draw. In total, the former Houston goalkeeper represented Canada in 15 FIFA World Cup qualification matches across three separate qualifying campaigns. Onstad’s final appearance for his country came in May of 2010 in a friendly against Argentina.

At the club level, Onstad began his career in 1987 with the Vancouver 86ers, and he played for a variety of clubs before his rise in MLS, including the Montreal Impact, Rochester Rhinos, and Scotland’s Dundee United.