Since goalkeeper David Ousted linked up with the Vancouver Whitecaps in June, and then played his first game on August 3, there have been questions.
Why did the club choose to add a goalkeeper when there were more obvious areas in need of an upgrade? Was giving a third man this season the No. 1 goalkeeping role wise for team cohesion or continuity? How quickly would the Dane adapt?
For some, those questions still remain, but after this weekend Ousted will have a few less doubters after coming up with several big stops in a vital 3-0 win over the Montreal Impact.
“I think he was very important in our win,” head coach Martin Rennie told reporters after a training session at the University of British Columbia on Monday. “I think that he made a couple of really key saves and also handled the ball very well on crosses well under pressure.
“Another clean sheet. Two in a row. It was interesting a couple of games before that he didn't have many chances to make saves, but in the games now where he's had chances to make a save he's done it.”
While the lanky shot stopper's general game was impressive, there were two moments that stood out above the rest.
First, he denied Patrice Bernier's left-footed shot from the top of the box in the 65th minute, swatting the ball against the crossbar.
Then, in the 84th minute, with his team leading by just one goal, Ousted got down well to stop Daniele Paponi with an unconventional leg save.
“He hit it through a lot of bodies,” Ousted said of the latter stop. “I didn't really see it. I had to react late to it with a foot – I got a foot to it – so that was not an easy one. But I got it and we got away with a win there.”
Now the hope for the club and its 'keeper is that the weekend's win provides a bit of momentum, as the 'Caps hope to continue their push to sneak into the playoffs after a rough patch which has seen them win just twice in their last 10 matches.
“These are of course always the fun games,” Ousted said. “There's something on the line and a lot of expectation. That's better than people not wanting to come to the games and not expecting anything from it.”
Martin MacMahon covers the Vancouver Whitecaps for MLSsoccer.com.