With Danish goalkeeper David Ousted recently joining United's ranks and summer addition Steve Clark re-signing in December, head coach Ben Olsen has two reliable and proven options in goal heading into 2018.
Both Ousted and Clark bring a wealth of MLS experience to the goalkeeping depth chart and United fans hope this will help drive the pair to new heights as they look to take over the position from the recently-departed Bill Hamid.
Ousted arrives in D.C. with a glowing MLS resume. In five seasons with the Whitecaps, Ousted recorded 43 clean sheets and 441 saves in 145 appearances for the club. The Dane was a standout in 2015 and earned multiple Save of the Week nominations for his agile and instinctive saves to deny opponents. That year he led Vancouver to the Amway Canadian Championship and was a runner-up selection for MLS Goalkeeper of the Year. His performances also earned him a selection to the 2015 MLS All-Star game, where he recorded a second-half shutout in the 2-1 win against Tottenham Hotspur F.C.
At 6’4”, Ousted’s commanding frame and leadership qualities allow him to make key saves and maintain organization in his backline. The Dane has become one of the elite goalkeepers in Major League Soccer, and he currently ranks fifth in shutouts (42), eighth in saves (432) and sixth in wins (55) of active goalkeepers in the regular season.
While Ousted continuously impresses in goal, United summer signing Steve Clark has also proven his ability in net and will be vying for the starting position as well.
Clark made a name for himself in MLS with the Columbus Crew, making 100 regular season appearances and recording 22 shutouts over three years. The 31-year-old missed only two regular season games for the Crew from 2014-2016 and was one of the top five MLS goalkeepers in saves for three seasons in Columbus.
- 2014 | 111 saves | Second in MLS
- 2015 | 114 saves | Second in MLS
- 2016 | 112 saves | Fourth in MLS
In 2014, Clark was named Crew SC’s Defender of the Year and finished third in MLS Goalkeeper of the Year voting. The Michigan native was also one of only five players in MLS to play every minute of every match that season. Clark's ability to lead and motivate showed when the Crew made it to the Audi MLS Cup Playoffs in back-to-back seasons, including a trip to the 2015 MLS Cup Championship.
Since making his return to MLS with the Black-and-Red, Clark stood strong in the final five matches of the 2017 season. He recorded a shutout in his debut for United in the 4-0 win against San Jose on Sept. 23, and endeared himself to United fans with his ability to make athletic and reflexive saves while maintaining constant organizational communication with the players in front of him. Clark's sprawling save to deny two-time MLS Golden Boot winner Bradley Wright-Phillips a tap-in at Red Bull Arena on Sept. 27 showcased the goalkeeper's talent in net and earned him an MLS Save of the Year nomination. In his first five showings with United, Clark recorded 13 saves and one shutout.
As the 2018 season inches closer, Ousted and Clark will be pushing their performances to new heights as they compete for the starting job. With such a wealth of MLS experience and categorical dominance between Ousted and Clark, Ben Olsen will have the luxury of choosing between two tried-and-true leaders in net this year.