MLS- Houston Dynamo

Onstad coming out of retirement to play for D.C. United


Photo by Michael Janosz/ISIphotos.com

The solution to D.C. United's goalkeeping problems appears to have been right in front of the club all along.

Goalkeeper coach Pat Onstad is coming out of retirement to compete for the club's starting keeper job in the aftermath of Steve Cronin breaking his wrist.

Cronin was expected to start the season in goal, with Bill Hamid still recovering from offseason shoulder surgery. With both now on the shelf and only the inexperienced Chase Harrison and Joe Willis in camp, the 43-year-old Onstad, who retired from the Houston Dynamo to coach for D.C. after last season, has inserted himself in the mix.

"Pat is our best option in goal right now for the situation we're in," coach Ben Olsen said in a team release.

Since Onstad was made available in the Re-Entry Draft and not selected, he technically is a free agent and should be able to sign a player contract with D.C. without the club needing to compensate the Dynamo.

What do you think about this development?

Share your thoughts below.

  • KEEP

    I believe Hamid will start for the Nats one day. It was great having Onstad mentor the young keeper but to make Big Bill compete might be the best thing P O could have done as a coach….fantastic!


  • Willardo DuPont

    I don’t think Houston would be entitled to any compensation since he was made available in the re-entry draft. It seems that the rules said after the draft was over, any teams could sign players not selected. I guess he’ll be a player/coach?


  • patrick

    i can’t see the MLS forcing DC to compensate the Dynamo for what, 6 weeks and maybe 2 league games of play from him? It would be silly


  • anon

    in other news, DC United has decided to hire Alexi Lalas, Marcelo Balboa, and Jeff Agoos as defenders. (All younger or same age as Onstad.)

    Hell, Tony Meola’s only 41 – he’s got to be an option, right?


  • Hopper

    Another season of watching Onstad throw his hands up, yell and shake his head in frustration at his teammates every time one gets past him.


  • jake

    If those are the rules, I agree that they’re not entitled. Particularly given that this wasn’t some kind of plan for DCU to get around roster rules… its due to two injuries, this seems like a perfect short-term solution unless Onstad plays so well that there’s a goalkeeping controversy. But if that’s a problem, DCU will have been doing quite well.


  • patrick

    having watched him in an indoor league, the answer is absolutely not. He’s old and slow now.


  • Kire DCU

    Well, our season is certainly shaping up to be an ‘interesting’ one. Not sure what ‘interesting’ will turn out to like though.


  • PSPTim

    Probably better to have him in form and ready to go, even if its only for a few games. This says to me that getting back to the playoffs is near the top of Ben’s list for the season – if not, there isn’t that much harm is starting Harrison or Willis for a few games while the starters heal. This week, DC put the East and MLS on notice – apparently they don’t see this as a re-building year.


  • JoeW

    It’s a great solution on a bunch of levels. That said, I hope DCU fans don’t expect Onstad to look like the Onstad of his prime. While we can say that GK’s age well, the reality is that Onstad never made his name by great physical play (ie: like being known as a phenomenal shot stopper with amazing reflexes like Kasey Keller). Great older athletes never have an off-season, they train and condition year round. Now Onstad basically took the off-season off. I would not be surprised if he started out looking a bit shaky or letting in a howler in an early match. And that said, I think it’s still a good solution, probably the best one available.


  • bandeeto

    How did DC get so interesting all of a sudden? I find myself rooting for them (not against RSL of corse) against my better judgment. Best of luck DC, CD9, Onstad.


  • Rick

    Nice to see someone my age on the pitch. Those young whipper-snappers like Keller make me feel old.

    But really, shrewd move.


  • fischy

    Just sayin’ — when Onstad’s name was floated as a coach, some of us speculated that he should be a player-coach, at least until Hamid was ready to play. This was an obvious solution.


  • solles

    shades of a Zenga situation all over again, lets hope Onstad plays better for DC United than Zenga typicaly did for the Revs.


  • 3VIL L33T

    PO11 is the best GK DCU has had in the last 5 years if not EVER! Good luck you fortunate SOBs. Onstad joining the ranks even if its just for 6 weeks just made you a playoff team.

    Also Forever Orange!!!!


  • Jcl

    Is he going to continue with his coaching role? Will he go back into retirement once both Hamid and Cronin are back and fit?


  • Brian

    Once Cronin went down, I thought about this happening, but figured there would be some kind of backwards-a$$ rule that would have kept Pat tied to the Dynamo, but I forgot that he technically is a free agent due to not being selected in the Re-entry draft.

    Definitely some interesting stuff coming out of DC. I wonder what happens when Bill Hamid is ready to play again. Does Pat just re-retire? Or maybe he waits to re-retire until Steve Cronin comes back?


  • Erik the Oranje

    Add some Centrum Silver and One-A-Day tablets to the equipment manager’s shopping list…


  • John in FL

    In other words, the way to get out of your contact and onto another team is to announce plans to “Retire” so you don’t get pick in the re-entry draft and then become a free agent.

    What a rip!!!!!!!Houston should defiantly be compensated by Onstad himself and not by DC.


  • John in FL

    Oh, and his retirement lasted all of no time at all because he will never even missed 1 game….


  • DE

    Yeah, this was a grand ruse by Onstad and United. I heard they broke Cronin’s wrist in the clubhouse so they could make the whole deal appear less shady.

    Give me a break. Houston wasn’t going to be compensated if he was taken in the re-entry draft – so they’re no worse off. They decided not to keep him on at his contract and he decided to retire and move on to coaching rather than take a pay cut to play.


  • inkedAG

    First thought: HAHAHAHAHA!!

    Second thought: How much does Chase Harrison and Joe Willis suck that Pat Onstad needs to come out of retirement and play for DC?


  • Oog

    Can’t stand the man, never been a fan. I hate to say it, but I hope this ends up a bad experiment. 43 year old GK? Really? Good luck DC.


  • Berlin

    Onstad is the best GK in MLS history. Hate to see him suit up in anything but Orange but great to see him doing well.


  • John in FL

    Haaa…I was under the impression he told thme he was retiring before the end of the season.

    If that wasn’t the case I guess I nee dot eat the mwords then.


  • Tino in Baltimore

    Onstad was looking to play another season or two with a new club all the way into late December of 2010. With no takers he reluctantly accepted United’s coaching offer. He is going to be a player/coach so he will get the best of both worlds. Good luck to him!


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