With so much of the focus on the Whitecaps’ lack of goal scoring this season, one player that has been overshadowed is David Ousted.
The 6’4″ goalkeeper has been a tower of strength for the Whitecaps once again this season, keeping his team afloat while they find their form early in the season.
Arguably the best goalkeeper in MLS last year, the 31-year-old Dane has been relied upon greatly this year. Ousted has recovered nicely after a shaky outing in the season opener and now leads the league in minutes played (720), shots faced (47), saves (34), and clean sheets (3).
His brilliance was on display once again in Saturday’s 3-0 win against first place Dallas FC.
“I’m pleased from today because Dallas is a good team” Whitecaps head coach Carl Robinson said in his post-game media conference. “They’ve scored a lot of goals, I kept getting reminded that this week that they’re a high scoring team and deservedly so, so [I’m] pleased that we kept a clean sheet.”
“I think his job is to try and keep the ball out of the net so he’s done what he’s paid for, he’s done his job very well today.”
Dallas was the better team for most of the first half, but despite some glorious chances to score, the game remained tied until the 35th minute when the ‘Caps got a lucky break. Had Ousted been less than stellar, the score could have very easily been 3-0 for Dallas.
“I thought I played well today” said Ousted following the game. “I thought there were times today where I needed to step up and make that save that kept us into it and I’m happy with my performance today.”
The win was an important one for the Whitecaps, who currently sit just below the playoff bar in the Western Conference.
“There were a few weeks here where we were going through a rough patch but that’s the time where the leaders of this team step up” said Ousted, a leader himself. “MLS is such a long season and you’ll go through patches where it’s going to be tough once in a while but that’s where the leadership needs to step up.”
Ousted’s next opportunity to step up will be on Wednesday against Sporting Kansas City, a team Vancouver is chasing in the standings.