VANCOUVER, BC — While Vancouver Whitecaps FC won Saturday's match 2-0 against San Jose Earthquakes in large part due to a strong midfield performance, the man furthest back had a big part to play as well.
Goalkeeper David Ousted, making his first home start in a 'Caps uniform after signing in late June, grabbed his first win as a member of the team with a strong individual performance, making a couple of important saves.
With the game scoreless, the lanky Dane made perhaps his most important contribution, scurrying across goal from left to right before getting out an arm to save a shot from Cordell Cato 38 minutes in. The effort took a deflection before looking destined for the bottom left corner of the goal, but Ousted was able to react quickly and get his limb in the way.
“I thought he did really well,” head coach Martin Rennie said following the match. “He kicked the ball very well. I thought he was calm under pressure and I thought he made two excellent saves that made a big difference to us winning the game.
"Those kinds of saves win you games and win you points. He gave us a great foundation to build from. ... I think he’s started off his Whitecaps career as well as you could possibly hope.”
Beyond his saves, Ousted looked commanding in his area, coming for crosses well and giving his midfielder and defenders an earful when required.
Comfortable with the ball at his feet, the former Randers FC netminder also showed a strong range of passing.
As for how he's dealing with a new league, Ousted was quick to credit the club's former starting goalkeeper Joe Cannon and the backroom team.
“I asked the coaches,” Ousted said of how he's been studying opposing teams and players. “I asked Joe Cannon as well. He played with guys and played in this league a lot of years, so he was a great help. [I] talked to Martin a little bit and saw some video and saw some of his statistics.
“I did my research, but like I said before the game, I believe that I can play in this league and play with the best of them and stop any attacker in this league.”
Martin MacMahon covers Vancouver Whitecaps FC for MLSsoccer.com.