Pat Onstad — Technical Director, VP of Soccer Operations
Pat Onstad (pronounced: on-STAD) is the Technical Director and VP of Soccer Operations at Columbus Crew. Onstad joined the Crew on January 10, 2014, spending his first five seasons as an Assistant Coach on the Black & Gold staff.
One of the most renowned goalkeepers in Major League Soccer history, Onstad is the League’s all-time leader in goals-against average (minimum 15,000 minutes played), posting a career mark of 1.12. His 25-year professional journey spanned across Canada, Scotland and the United States. With 16 years of experience already under his belt, Onstad played eight more successful seasons in MLS with San Jose (2003-2005) and Houston (2006-2010) before briefly retiring and joining D.C. United’s technical staff as an Assistant Coach. Due to injuries to United’s goalkeepers in 2011, the then 43-year-old returned as a player-coach and made three starts in his ninth MLS campaign, including a five-save victory in the 3-1 United win over the Crew on March 19, 2011. Onstad returned to his coaching duties midway through the 2011 campaign and departed to become Chief Scout and Manager of Football Partnerships of Toronto FC in January of 2013.
A three-time MLS Cup champion, Onstad was also a two-time MLS Goalkeeper of the Year Award winner (2003, 2005), including his first campaign with the San Jose Earthquakes, in which he secured an MLS Cup victory. In his three seasons with the Earthquakes, Onstad matched his League goalkeeping honors with a pair of Best XI selections, helping the club to a Supporters’ Shield in 2005 with an unbeaten home record. His final season in San Jose also included a League-best 18 wins, 12 shutouts and 0.97 goals against average.
With the Dynamo in the club’s first five years in MLS from 2006-2010, Onstad logged 136 starts in regular-season action and helped bring Houston back-to-back MLS Cup titles in 2006 and 2007. Onstad’s saves in penalty kicks helped the club secure its first MLS Cup title during the Dynamo’s inaugural season in the League in 2006. In his second season with Dynamo in 2007, Onstad led MLS with a 0.82 goals against average mark and made seven saves in MLS Cup 2007. 2014 is Onstad’s 12th year in Major League Soccer across all career positions. Prior to his 2003 arrival to MLS, Onstad played for a variety of clubs, including the Montreal Impact, Rochester Rhinos and Scotland’s Dundee United. His professional debut came with the Vancouver 86ers in 1987.
Onstad, a Vancouver native, earned 57 caps throughout his career with the Canadian National Team, and is the team’s leader in all-time goalkeeper caps as well as shutouts (21). At the time of his retirement, Onstad was the longest-serving member of the squad in Canadian National Team history, making his debut on February 18, 1988 against Bermuda in a 0-0 draw. In total, the new Black & Gold Assistant Coach represented Canada in 15 FIFA World Cup qualification matches across three separate qualifying campaigns.