Onstad named Player of the Week
San Jose Earthquakes goalkeeper
Pat Onstad was named Honda MLS Player of the Week by the Professional
Soccer Reporters Association (PSRA) for the week ending April 10, 2004
(Week 2). The Canadian international made five saves as he earned his
first clean sheet of the season in a 0-0 tie against the Chicago Fire
on Saturday afternoon at Spartan Stadium in a match which marked the defending
champions’ 2004 home opener.
The reigning MLS Goalkeeper of the Year earns his second career MLS Player
of the Week award, having last been recognized in Week 6 of the 2003 season
following another 0-0 tie against the Fire. The 36-year-old netminder,
who broke the Earthquakes club record with a League-leading nine shutouts
last year, made several decisive stops in Saturday’s rematch of
MLS Cup 2003.
"Pat's a big-game player," Chicago Head Coach Dave Sarachan
said of Onstad. "When you're going to beat Pat, you really have to
beat him. He made some big saves today."
In the 23rd minute Onstad deflected a spectacular Ante Razov overhead
volley, punching it over the crossbar. With less than five minutes remaining
in the match, Onstad foiled Razov again as the forward’s shot on
goal from the right side of the penalty area was tipped over the crossbar
by Onstad, who also saved a Razov penalty kick during MLS Cup 2003.
"In a game like this, the goalkeeper is going to get a chance to
help his team – that is what I am there for,” Onstad said
after the game. “Chicago has a good team and they are going to get
some good chances. They are an attacking team which likes to go forward
and get results. On the save against Razov in the first half, it was a
nice ball on the back post and there wasn't much a defender can do."
During the 2003 campaign, his debut season in the League, Onstad was
the leader in every significant goalkeeping category in MLS for the majority
of the season. Among goalkeepers who played 15 or more matches, he also
recorded the best goals against average of 1.04. He is the third San Jose
goalkeeper to be recognized as Player of the Week (Joe Cannon - 2000,
Dave Salzwedel – 1997, Pat Onstad – 2003). The native of Vancouver,
British Columbia was acquired by the Earthquakes on March 13, 2003 after
the club's preseason starting goalkeeper Jon Conway suffered a broken
ankle. He proceeded to start 27 of the club’s 30 regular season
matches last year.
The Honda MLS Player of the Week is selected every week throughout the
MLS regular season by a panel of journalists from the Professional Soccer
Reporters Association (PSRA). Los Angeles Galaxy forward Carlos Ruiz and
D.C. United forward Ronald Cerritos finished behind Onstad as the runners-up
for this week’s award.