David Ousted wants to be the No. 1 goalkeeper, leader DC United need

David Ousted - Vancouver Whitecaps FC - Arms wide

After the departures of goalkeeper Bill Hamid and defender Bobby Boswell last year, D.C. United enter 2018 in search of new vocal leaders.

David Ousted hopes to be one of them.

Following a move to D.C. last month, the former Vancouver Whitecaps No. 1 tells MLSsoccer.com the opportunity to assume a leadership role helped make the US capital an attractive landing spot.

“Definitely. I think it falls naturally to me,” said Ousted, who turned 33 at the start of February. “I’m glad to take that responsibility. I like that responsibility. I want to be the guy who steps forward when things get tough and makes sure that the team heads in the right direction.”

Of course, he has to earn that right. And after losing the starting role to Stefan Marinovic at the tail end of his four-and-a-half-year Whitecaps tenure, Ousted is not guaranteed the job in D.C. Currently, he’s probably a slight favorite in an open competition with former Columbus Crew SC No. 1 Steve Clark.

That kind of goalkeeping battle is an unusual spot for United, who entrusted the position to Hamid – the club's first-ever Homegrown Player – for most of the last seven seasons. But a fight for places is the plan at most positions this season for D.C., and for Ousted, it signals a certain level of aspiration.

“I think it was important for me to find a place that had the ambitions of wanting to be a part of the top part of MLS,” said the Dane. “And I think this club has shown that they want to be a part of the very top.

“Having a competitive nature like that throughout the club, throughout the team, is only going to improve the guys that are here.”

Although Ousted left Vancouver expressing frustration that he was given the choice of taking a pay cut or moving on, he now says those feelings are behind him.

“I’m not a guy who lives in the past. I don’t think anything good comes through that,” Ousted said. “I was very grateful, especially for the fans, the way they treated me, the way my family were treated throughout the city. So I leave that place with a lot of good memories, and that’s what I take away from it. You can’t dwell so much on these things.”

That said, he's well aware his old club will be D.C.’s first opponents when they open up Audi Field on July 14.

“It couldn’t be better, right? That’s obviously going to be a fun game for me,” Ousted quipped. “But that day is more of a huge day for the club. It takes a step in the franchise history of having a new stadium, having a beautiful new home field.”