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Evening Ticker: Onstad retires to be coach, Najar inks new deal and more

Pat Onstad (

Goalkeeper Pat Onstad has enjoyed a long championship-winning career, but the 41-year-old Canadian net-minder has stopped his last shot.

Onstad retired on Tuesday, and immediately took a position as an assistant coach with D.C. United, joining the coaching staff of new head coach Ben Olsen.

Onstad's retirement doesn't come as a complete surprise, but now leaves Houston with a pair of iyoung goalkeepers in Tally Hall and Tyler Deric.

Onstad will now have the task of working with standout young D.C. goalkeeper Bill Hamid and newly-acquired Steve Cronin.

Here are some other stories from Tuesday to help close out the day:

Najar signs new deal with D.C.

D.C. United took a major step toward solidifying its future by signing MLS Rookie of the Year Andy Najar to a new contract, the club announced on Tuesday.

The club did not release details of the new contract, but Najar is sure to have received a considerable pay raise from the almost $59,000 he earned in guaranteed compensation in 2010 in exchange for lengthening his contract by a minimum of two years.

Inter to fire Benitez

The Rafa Benitez era at Inter Milan is over and the reigning European champions are set to turn to a familiar face to take his place.

According to multiple reports, Inter Milan will fire Benitez on Wednesday and will replace him with former AC Milan manager Leonardo.

Benitez is set to pocket a seven-figure payout for being removed from a job he held just half a season since taking over for Jose Mourinho.

Stoke eyeing Buddle

Edson Buddle's future remains a mystery as Stoke City has been added to the teams reportedly interested in his services.

Buddle had been on trial with Birmingham City, but the Daily Mail has named Stoke City as an interested suitor, along with Everton and Wolverhampton.

Whether the fresh reports are legitimate, or pure wild speculation is unclear, but all three clubs mentioned are in need of reinforcements in the attack.

It remains unclear how Buddle would be eligible for a UK work permit, but the reported interested from multiple English clubs suggests they believe he can secure one.


What do you think of these developments? Who do you see Houston turning to in goal? Glad to hear Najar will be staying in MLS a while longer? Where do you see Benitez winding up next?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. Best of luck to Pat Onstadt in the next phase of his career. I enjoyed watching him in SJ. He was nothing but class on and off the field. He will have his hands full in DC!

  2. It also dosen’t hurt that Rimando has Borchers and Olave towering in front of him. I don’t want to take anything away from Rimando’s individual ability, but I think a lot of his success comes from the players in front of him.

  3. Thank goodness Andy Najar is locked in for a few more years. DC United continues to look younger and better. Benny has made some very good moves since taking the helm. Maybe he can rip the reins out of the Front Office’s hands and take control of my beloved Black and Red. I’m still VERY concerned about our defense. We need to pick up at least two MLS starting-caliber defenders to avoid another embarrassing season. I wonder who we will take in the draft, or maybe we trade our pick?

  4. Ives, you keep asking how Edson Buddle could get a work permit in the UK. it’s easy, really. his father was born in Jamaica. Seems reasonable that Edson would then qualify for Jamaican citizenship. Jamaica is a Commonwealth nation, easing the path to getting a work permit in the UK (ah, the legacies of colonialism)

  5. Bunbury is Canadian-American. His father is Canadian. Teal was also born in Hamilton, Ontario, hence all the USMNT vs Canada talk. I think that will help him in securing a work permit. Not sure if that makes it automatic or not, but easier. Aslo, it doesn’t hurt that he is starting to get called up by the USMNT and that he is still young.

  6. Findley will do fine in Championship. It is route one football, played fast and physical. He will stretch the defense. You can’t coach speed. hopefully he hones his aim to within 3-4 feet of goal. That should give him a 27-28×11-12 foot target to work with, which would be an improvement.

  7. One name–Wondolowski. That proves both our points. Late bloomer and someone that benefitted from a reserve league. Also look at Cummings. Reserve leagues mean a lot to players, more than fans understand. Fans never see the games or hear about them so they are discounted, but the return of the reserve league will mean a lot for the development of the players.

    As far as late bloomers go, look no further than Drogba. Not everyone is ready like Messi at 17.

  8. The biggest part of MLS’s development problems are going to end this year. The lack of a reserve league was the problem. Guys on the fringe were practicing but not getting game time.

    Also, sometimes a guy like Ryan Miller, or many others for that matter, just need to be with the right coach, system, or team to blossom.

  9. why is findley/buddle getting so much love, they are horrible to watch. aghh maybe not so much buddle than findley, but jeez i think the love would be for younger more attractive options in the MLS like Burnbury, Najar, etc..

  10. “Plus certain players develop at different times. Some bloom early some late.”

    This is key; having different routes to high level play is a strength in the near and medium term. Maybe even in the long run.

  11. 1. It’s a big world. Guys who don’t succeed in one place often make it someplace else. I don’t think Ryan Miller is a condemnation of DC United–I mean, he was USL and anyone in MLS could have signed him (but chose not to). And sometimes a guy doesn’t look good on one system or at one place in his career and then blossoms.

    2. The dig on Nick Rimando is just plain silly. He got hurt with DCU, Troy Perkins came in and shined. Rimando then asked to be traded. The team sent him to RSL (it was a family thing) and John Ellinger basically showed no interest in him once he had Seitz. NYRB acquired him and let him sit (as I remember, Arena was in love with Jan Van Beveren). It was only when Scott Garlick made a surprise retirement decision that RSL reacquired Rimando. Sounds like there are a lot of teams that felt they had better talent than the little man. But instead he’s worked hard, honed his game and now he’s one of the best keepers in MLS.

    Also, if Hamid’s recover ends up being delayed a bit, I wouldn’t be surprised of Onstad comes out of retirement at the beginning of the season but sits on the bench behind Cronin. So to say he’s stopped his last shot is probably premature.

  12. fischy, really, really I mean really, is the sky really falling, is DCU, MLS academies, and college soccer not know what they are doing?? How big is the US, how many players does it have? Not everyone is going to get seen, not every player responds to each coach. Plus certain players develop at different times. Some bloom early some late.

    Sometimes it is a simple as does he get along with the other players. Do the players on his team play to his strengths. ect ect ect.

  13. “THe fact MIller has blossomed in Sweden also calls into question what MLS is doing to prepare/develop their players.”

    Come on, you’re condemning MLS based on a sample size of how many, exactly? What about the overseas success of ex-MLSers like Dempsey, Holden, Howard, Bradley…?

  14. The disappointing part of the MIller misplay is that the team decided to sign Anthony Peters instead,..and start Greg Janicki. Peters didn’t even last half the season, and Janicki was pretty disappointing as the center back in a 3-man line. MIller might have done well in that role, or allowed Jakovic to slide inside. 6 weeks after releasing MIller, United signed Avery John to bolster a very weak back line. I find it hard to comprehend how the coaching staff missed so badly in evaluating MIller’s potential.

    Unless the requirements are so different in Sweden, and Bob Bradley also looks for qualities other than what MLS sides look for to achieve success, then the DCU staff really didn’t know what they were doing.THe fact MIller has blossomed in Sweden also calls into question what MLS is doing to prepare/develop their players. Looking at Joshua Gatt who is now worked his way on hte U20 side, after being overlooked at MIchigan and heading to Austria — well that doesn’t speak well about the college coaching ranks either. Gatt’s own observations are also pretty damning of the Academies, here.

    Of course, there can be bad coaches at any level. Look at Rafa. Maybe some MLS team will be able to seduce him now. NOt sure that would be a good thing.

  15. Two good moves by DC United. However, our front office still has a ways to go to make up for years of terrible moves (see not even giving Ryan Miller a chance; getting rid of Rimando; overpaying for Troy Perkins)

    Also, Benitez getting fired after running Inter into the ground in six months should be a wake up call to all the Liverpool fans. Yes the American owners were poor but Benitez brought in a plethora of average talent which played a major role in Liverpool not being able to compete in the upper echelons of the EPL. Recently he has shown himself to be a pretty average coach and should accept the blame (and realize Fergie always wins)


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