Pat Onstad

Patrick Stewart Onstad (born January 13, 1968) is a Canadian former soccer goalkeeper currently serving as the technical director of Columbus Crew SC. During his career, Onstad played with a variety of clubs in Canada and the United States and was a three-time winner of MLS Cup. He was inducted into the Canadian Soccer Hall of Fame in November 2015.[1]

Pat Onstad
Onstad celebrating winning the 2006 MLS Cup with Houston Dynamo
Personal information
Full name Patrick Stewart Onstad
Date of birth (1968-01-13) January 13, 1968
Place of birth Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Height 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)
Playing position Goalkeeper
Club information
Current team
Columbus Crew SC (technical director)
Youth career
1985–1987 UBC Thunderbirds
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1987–1988 Vancouver 86ers
1988–1989 Winnipeg Fury
1990–1991 Toronto Blizzard 54 (0)
1992–1993 Winnipeg Fury 20 (0)
1994 Toronto Rockets 20 (0)
1995 Montreal Impact 7 (0)
1996 Edmonton Drillers (indoor) 19 (0)
1997 Toronto Lynx 19 (0)
1998–1999 Rochester Raging Rhinos 49 (0)
1999–2001 Dundee United 0 (0)
2001–2002 Rochester Raging Rhinos 21 (0)
2003–2005 San Jose Earthquakes 84 (0)
2006–2010 Houston Dynamo 136 (0)
2011 D.C. United 3 (0)
Total 432 (0)
National team
1988–2010 Canada 57 (0)
Teams managed
2011–2013 D.C. United (assistant)
2013 Toronto FC (chief scout)
2014–2018 Columbus Crew SC (assistant)
2019– Columbus Crew SC (technical director)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Youth and college

Onstad began playing organized soccer with the West Point Grey, Marpole United, and Coquitlam Metro-Ford youth soccer clubs. He then went on to tend goal at the University of British Columbia, who he led to three CIAU National Championships. He was also a two-time Academic All-Canadian, and holds degrees in Human Kinetics and Education.[2]



After graduating, Onstad joined the Vancouver 86ers of the Canadian Soccer League in 1987. From 1988 to 1989, he played for the Winnipeg Fury, also of the CSL. He moved to a third CSL team, the Toronto Blizzard, for 1990 and 1991. Onstad returned to the Fury in 1992, winning both the CSL Championship and the CSL Goalkeeper of the Year Award.

Onstad moved to the APSL in 1994, playing for the Toronto Rockets. After a season with the Rockets, he moved to the Montreal Impact for 1995. In 1996, he played indoor soccer for the Edmonton Drillers of the NPSL. He returned to outdoor soccer in 1997, playing for the Toronto Lynx, again of the A-League. In 1998, Onstad moved to his first American team, the Rochester Raging Rhinos, with whom he won the A-League title, and was also named the league's Goalkeeper of the Year after allowing only 13 goals in 26 regular season games. Onstad remained with Rochester for 1999, was named All-League second team, and helped the Rhinos become the only minor league team to win the U.S. Open Cup since the foundation of Major League Soccer.

In 1999, Onstad was signed by Dundee United of Scotland, although he never saw any playing time with the first team. He returned to Rochester in 2001, and although a wrist injury kept him out of action for most of the year, he finished second in the league in goals against the following year.

In 2003, Onstad was signed by fellow Canadian Frank Yallop to the San Jose Earthquakes as a replacement for Joe Cannon. Onstad filled in quite well, helping lead the Earthquakes to their second MLS Cup in three years, and winning the MLS Goalkeeper of the Year Award. He had another excellent year in 2005, supporting the Earthquakes as they went undefeated at home (the first time any team did that in MLS history) and winning the MLS Supporters' Shield, and winning the MLS Goalkeeper of the Year Award for a second time. He was named to the MLS Best XI in both 2003 and 2005.

Along with the rest of his Earthquakes teammates, he moved to Houston for the 2006 season. Onstad played every minute of the regular season for the Dynamo.

After the 2010 MLS season Houston declined Onstad's contract option and he elected to participate in the 2010 MLS Re-Entry Draft. Onstad became a free agent in Major League Soccer when he was not selected in the Re-Entry draft. Shortly thereafter, Onstad announced his retirement on December 21, 2010.


Onstad joined D.C. United as an assistant coach alongside Chad Ashton.[3]

It was announced on February 17, 2011, that Onstad would come out of retirement to play for D.C. due to the injuries to Steve Cronin and Bill Hamid.[4] His contract with D.C. United expired on May 31, 2011, and Onstad returned solely to his duties as an assistant coach.[5]

Onstad left D.C. in January 2013 and joined Toronto FC as Chief Scout and Manager of Football Partnerships.[6] Shortly after the firings of general manager Kevin Payne, and director of team and player operations Earl Cochrane, Onstad left the organization.[7]


Onstad played for Canada at the 1987 FIFA World Youth Championship[8] and made his senior debut for the Canadian national team on February 18, 1988, against Bermuda, and has played a total of 56 games over a 20-year period for the squad. He has represented Canada in 15 FIFA World Cup qualification matches[9] in three unsuccessful World Cup qualifying campaigns.

His final official international game was an August 2008 World Cup qualification match against Jamaica. He played a friendly against Argentina on May 24, 2010.



Rochester Rhinos
San Jose Earthquakes
Houston Dynamo





  2. Houston Dynamo: Pat Onstad Retrieved on September 4, 2009
  3. D.C. United: Pat Onstad Archived June 15, 2011, at the Wayback Machine Retrieved on December 21, 2010
  4. D.C. United: Retrieved on February 17, 2011
  5. Caulfield, Alex. "Training notes: United transitions between PDX and LA". Retrieved June 1, 2011.
  6. "Toronto FC Hires Pat Onstad | Toronto FC". January 22, 2013. Retrieved March 11, 2014.
  7. "Toronto FC Schedules 'Major Announcement' For Friday". TSN. Retrieved September 19, 2013.
  8. World Youth Cup Team Canada - FIFA
  9. Record at FIFA Tournaments - FIFA
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