Quakes' Onstad takes monthly prize
San Jose Earthquakes goalkeeper Pat Onstad has been selected as Major League Soccer's Honda Player of the Month for August by the Professional Soccer Reporters Association (PSRA). The 2003 MLS Goalkeeper of the Year recorded four shutouts in five games during the month, posting a 3-1-1 record and bringing the Quakes to within four points of the Western Conference lead.
Onstad began the month with a shutout in front of nearly 20,000 fans at Spartan Stadium on Aug. 7, stopping all four shots and earning the clean sheet in San Jose's 2-0 victory over D.C. United. Four days later, the Quakes appeared to have taken a road point in Chicago but a late Damani Ralph goal with nine minutes to play gave San Jose their only defeat of the month by a margin of 2-1.
On Aug. 14 with Onstad again in the nets, San Jose began a string of three consecutive shutouts by defeating the Kansas City Wizards 2-0 on the road. The Canadian international followed that game with two straight shutouts at home to end the month - a 3-0 over the Dallas Burn on August 21 and a 0-0 tie versus the Colorado Rapids on August 28. The three consecutive shutouts were a club record and Onstad's shutout streak currently stands at 279 minutes.
In his two years in MLS, August has been Onstad's best month. Of his 14 career shutouts, seven have come during the month and in 10 career games in August, Onstad has allowed only five goals for a 0.49 GAA, including a 6-2-2 all-time record in the month.
Onstad, who currently has 42 caps for Canada, will miss the next two Earthquakes games as he is set to represent Canada in CONCACAF World Cup Qualifying. Canada will take on Honduras on Saturday and then travel to San Jose, Costa Rica to face Costa Rica on Wednesday, Sept. 8.
The two-time MLS All-Star was the runaway winner for the month, with New England Revolution goalkeeper Matt Reis and D.C. United forward Jaime Moreno also receiving votes. This is Onstad's first Player of the Month award since joining the League in 2002 and it comes on the heels of two Honda Player of the Week honors (Week - 2 and 7). The monthly winner is selected by a panel of journalists from the Professional Soccer Reporters Association (PSRA).
2004 PLAYER OF THE MONTH WINNERS:
April: Carlos Ruiz (Los Angeles Galaxy)
May: Alejandro Moreno (Los Angeles Galaxy)
June: Chris Klein (Kansas City Wizards)
July: Amado Guevara (MetroStars)
August: Pat Onstad (San Jose Earthquakes)