Pat Onstad has degrees in Human Kinetics and Education.
John Todd/MLS/

Goalkeeper's Log: Coach Onstad?

Pat Onstad is in his second year with the Earthquakes. He won an MLS Cup in his first season in San Jose.

Dear Diary:

I've heard of close families but this is ridiculous. We continue to kiss our sister a little too much at home this year: four ties and only two wins. Well, at least we have not lost, but as far as the team is concerned we have dropped eight points (earning only 10 points out of a possible 18). On the bright side we have found a way to come back from deficits in three of those games and won on both occasions when we scored first. I guess the lesson to be learned is to score first (or at least more than the other team).

Anyway, as the ties continue to pile up I begin to think about my career after soccer (I have no idea what the connection between our ties and my career is but I thought that line sounded like a journalist - a bad one). As most of you know, the majority of professional soccer players in this country (even more so in Canada) will have to find a new career once their soccer career is finished. I am no exception. The beauty of MLS is that they feed off the college system and therefore encourage the majority of players to finish their degrees. Again, I am no exception. I have a degree in Human Kinetics (Physical Education) and another in Education, which enables me to teach.

As some of you know, I had retired in 1995 to begin a career in teaching in Vancouver but professional soccer kept calling me back and I ended up pursuing my soccer dream. I love teaching because it is an active profession, much like soccer, in which each and every day is different and challenging. Being able to work daily with kids and having some positive influence in their lives always makes teaching an attractive profession. A teaching career would bring a little more stability (in terms of moving) into my life and allow me to spend time with my growing family during holidays.

However, recently I have been thinking about pursuing a career in coaching. A few years ago I completed my United States Soccer Federation 'B' License and most recently Jon Conway and I attended an NSCAA Level 2 goalkeeper training course. I am not sure if this is what I want to do after I finish playing; I do have six or seven years to think about it (just kidding) but it is a possibility. I have become accustomed to life in soccer: the shorter hours, the moving, the outdoors and the interaction between players. So coaching may be perfect for me. The question then becomes: Do I pursue a college or professional job? Both are challenging in their own unique ways and both are careers where time, commitment, patience and effort are needed to be successful.

I guess I am fortunate in that I have a few choices once I retire but I also know I have worked hard and made many sacrifices to enable me to prepare for the rest of my "real" life. Although I do have one other option; I could win the lottery and hire a financial consultant to look after my millions.

Until next time,


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