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MLS Nov 01, 2021

Houston Dynamo FC hires club legend Pat Onstad as general manager

HOUSTON – The Houston Dynamo Football Club announced today that Dynamo legend Pat Onstad will return to the Club as general manager.

Onstad returns to Houston after serving as an assistant coach, chief scout and technical director for three MLS teams since 2011, most recently as technical director and vice president of soccer operations for the Columbus Crew. The 53-year-old helped build the roster that won the 2020 MLS Cup and the 2021 Campeones Cup.

“As we went through the search process, Pat clearly showed himself to be the best person for the job based on his experience in a number of leadership roles, his track record of success at every stop and his understanding of our league, our club and our community,” Segal said. “His preparation and attention to detail during the interview process illustrated the qualities that I believe will make him successful as our general manager. I look forward to working with him to build the Dynamo into championship contenders once again.”

Onstad joined the Crew in 2014 as an assistant coach on Gregg Berhalter’s staff and was promoted to technical director and vice president of soccer operations prior to the 2019 season after serving as the interim general manager following Berhalter’s departure for the U.S. Men’s National Team.

“I am honored and humbled to have the opportunity to lead the Dynamo as general manager,” Onstad said. “My family and I loved our time in Houston when I played for the Club, and it has been a goal of mine since I retired to return one day and help this club compete for championships again. I’m looking forward to the challenge and I can’t wait to get to work.”

Onstad retired after a 25-year playing career in 2010 and joined D.C. United as an assistant coach in 2011. The former goalkeeper briefly returned to the field due to injuries on the roster that spring and resumed his assistant coach duties in the summer of 2011. Onstad and D.C. United reached the Eastern Conference final in 2012 and ultimately fell to the Dynamo in a two-game series.

The Vancouver, British Columbia native returned to Canada in 2013 to serve as the chief scout and manager of football partnerships for Toronto FC. The Reds reached the semifinals of the Canadian Championship in Onstad’s sole season with the club.

Onstad departed for Columbus, Ohio in 2014 to join Berhalter’s technical staff as an assistant coach. He was promoted to technical director on Jan. 28, 2019, after serving as the interim general manager since Dec. 2018. The Crew reached the playoffs in five of his seven seasons in Ohio, including a trip to the 2015 MLS Cup final and hoisting the MLS Cup trophy at home in 2020.

As a player, Onstad won three MLS Cup titles with the Dynamo and San Jose Earthquakes. The former goalkeeper also won the 1999 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup with the Rochester Rhinos. To date, the Rhinos are the only non-MLS team to win the tournament since 1996. The shot stopper was also a two-time recipient of the MLS Goalkeeper of the Year award in 2003 and 2005.

Onstad joined former head coach Dominic Kinnear at Houston City Hall on Dec. 16, 2005 to announce the arrival of professional soccer to the Bayou City. Houston went on to win back-to-back MLS Cup titles in 2006 and 2007 and qualify for the postseason in four of Onstad’s five seasons with the Dynamo. Onstad delivered arguably the most important save in Dynamo history when he stopped New England’s final attempt in the penalty shootout to clinch the championship in 2006.

Internationally, Onstad finished with 57 appearances for the Canadian National Team and holds the record for shutouts with 21. He joined Canada for three qualifying campaigns for the FIFA World Cup and posted a shutout in his senior debut as a 20-year-old against Bermuda in 1988.

Onstad graduated from the University of British Colombia with a Bachelor of Human Kinetics and Bachelor of Education. He also holds a USSF “A” Coaching License and has received certificates from United Soccer Coaches (then known as the National Soccer Coaches Association of America).

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