VANCOUVER, B.C. — Who's No. 1? For the Vancouver Whitecaps, coach Martin Rennie isn't ready to give that label to David Ousted just yet.
The Danish goalkeeper, signed by the club in late June from Randers FC, made his first start in place of regular netminder Brad Knighton in last weekend's 1-1 draw with the Portland Timbers at JELD-WEN Field.
“I mean, he's the No. 1 on the last game,” Rennie responded after a training session at the University of British Columbia on Tuesday when asked if Ousted would now be the main man between the sticks going forward. “But you always just go week to week and then decide.
“I don't think it's fair to say that this guy is always going to be the player because then maybe they train less or someone else is doing really well and they deserve a chance – you just have to have an open mind I think.”
While Rennie isn't ready to give the undisputed starting title to Ousted just yet, it's difficult to imagine the club's big midseason signing isn't going to get a run of games now – and likely hold the job for the final stretch run into the playoffs – barring a string of major gaffes or an injury.
Brought from halfway around the world and carrying a salary commensurate with his playing experience in Europe, Ousted is here to play.
As for his debut, apart from Ryan Johnson's opening goal for the Timbers, Ousted didn't have much in the way of challenging stops to make. But Rennie was pleased with the 28-year-old's general performance in dealing with the routine plays goalkeepers are expected to make.
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“I thought he played well,” Rennie said. “He didn't have a lot to do but part of that was his organization and communication – helped to reduce the chances against us.
“And I thought he showed great presence. Looked very calm, and did well.”
Martin MacMahon covers the Vancouver Whitecaps for MLSsoccer.com.