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Two Canadian keepers up for Save of the Week

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During the MLS off-season, no Canadian soccer fan would have predicted that keepers Greg Sutton and Pat Onstad would be in the MLS limelight as the season began.

After all, in January, no one was expecting to see either have a job as a starter. Onstad had retired, and Sutton looked entrenched in his spot as the Red Bulls’ No. 2 choice to go between the sticks.

This week, both Canadian keepers are nominated for MLS Save of the Week. Sutton made a couple of fantastic stops on attempts from Seattle’s Fredy Montero in a 1-0 win, but the best was a reflex stop with his arm as Montero tried to get one upstairs from only a couple of yards out.

Pat Onstad

Onstad, who is old enough to recall a time when players wore cotton jerseys, made a diving stop off a redirected Columbus Crew corner, as D.C. United won its opener by a 3-1 count.

Onstad, 43, was quoted on D.C. United’s web highlights package after the win: “Tonight was one of the more enjoyable evenings of my career.”

Onstad had come to Washington to take over as the new goalkeepers’ coach but, after an injury crisis, he decided to come out of retirement — and continues his career as one of the best keepers in MLS history.

Sutton, the former No. 1 at Toronto FC before Stefan Frei ascended to the throne, came into New York’s camp looking to pick up where he left off last season, as the team’s No. 2 keeper behind Bouna Coundoul — a keeper who can confound you with bizarre decisions in the box, but also astound you with his shot-stopping skills. As camp went on, and Coundoul came in and out because of national-team duties, Sutton loosened Coundoul’s grip on the No. 1 job. After his standout performance in week one of the season, it’s now Sutton’s job to lose — and that won’t happen soon, with Coundoul being recalled to the Senegalese side this week.

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