Hey Kevin! Could you use another coach? - Bob Levey
How many coaches can one team have? There's always room for one more right? Especially if that one is Old Man, I mean Pat Onstad - the venerable MLS and Canadian International keeper is leaving DC United and joining his former boss Payne here in Toronto.
Heeyyy Patty Onstad! Ooh! Aaah! I wanna know-ooo-ooo-ooo-ooo...what? We're not supposed to sing for the coaches? Well we may have to start a new tradition as longtime MLS and CMNT veteran, Patrick Stewart (Make It So) "Pat" Onstad is coming to TFC as an assistant coach. First reported this afternoon by The Washington Post's Steven Goff of the Soccer Insider it appears that new president Payne is continuing to remake TFC both on the pitch and off by bringing the DC United assistant to join him here in DCU North.
Pat Onstad is a very familiar name to anyone that has followed both MLS and Canadian football for the past decade or more. Onstad has played for more than a dozen teams, starting his career as a mainstay in the CSL with stops with the Toronto Blizzard, Vancouver Eighty-Sixers and the Montreal Impact. He's been capped for Canada 57 times, appearing in three different World Cup qualification campaigns.
He's best known for not just his longevity in the game - a career spanning over 20 years - and for being a tough, no nonsense keeper with a firm grip on any defense playing in front of him; but perhaps most recently for coming out of retirement in February 2011 when Bill Hamid was injured. The formerly retired DC United assistant coach once again strapped on the boots and took up the gloves to man the posts for several games during the 2011 season. At age 43! There is no questioning this man's drive, dedication or skill.
So what does Onstad's appearance on the TFC coaching staff mean for current goalkeeping coach Stewart Kerr? According to a tweet from Luke Wileman, Kerr has nothing to worry about and Onstad will be an assistant to Nelsen.
Expecting Stewart Kerr to stay on as Toronto FC goalkeeper coach and Pat Onstad to take an assistant coach role with the club #MLS— Luke Wileman (@LukeWileman) January 15, 2013
As there's been no official word from the club on Onstad's role that still remains a mystery. But after last week's partial house cleaning Kerr was still counted as part of the staff so until we hear otherwise assume that he's not going anywhere.
Onstad is the latest addition to what some are starting to call DCU North as Payne continues to bring coaches (and coaches that were former players) to be part of the rebuilding process for the 2013 season. I think it's likely that he'll stop here but with our new Prez you never know. Perhaps DeRo is not far behind? I kid, I kid...
Onstad is well respected by players and other coaches. He has been the recipient of numerous awards over the years winning MLS Keeper of the Year awards in 2003 and 2005 as well as Canadian Player of the Year in 2003. But above all he's known for two things -the amazing penalty stop in the 2006 MLS final and that infamous goal for (yes I said for) Jamaica during World Cup Qualifying here in Toronto in August 2008: