In a press conference hosted at the Lexus Club in PNC Stadium, Houston Dynamo Football Club majority owner and CEO Ted Segal introduced former Houston Dynamo goalkeeper and longtime MLS front office executive Pat Onstad as the Dynamo’s new general manager.
The hire, Segal said during his opening remarks, would usher in the next era of Dynamo success.
“Quite simply, Pat knows what it takes to be part of and to create winning clubs and beyond his track record of success in leadership roles at every stop of his career,” Segal said. “Pat's readiness for the job was demonstrated over the course of our meetings with him. The depth, substance and detail of Pat's presentations during the interview process illustrated the qualities that I believe will make him successful as our general manager.”
Onstad returns to the Dynamo after a seven-year run with the Columbus Crew, where he most recently served technical director and vice president of soccer operations. While with Columbus, he helped construct a roster that won the 2020 MLS Cup and the 2021 Campeones Cup.
For Onstad, the chance to return to the franchise that he won two MLS Cups with as a player was an opportunity that he couldn’t pass up. Despite its recent struggles, Onstad is confident that he can help return the Club to its former glory days.
“I'm really excited to be back where I consider home,” Onstad said. “I'm really excited about the challenge ahead of us and I know it is a big challenge here at this club. I want to bring this club to a level where people can be proud of it and where people can feel like this is a team that every season has a chance to win a trophy.”
While Onstad understands that the most important thing that he can do for the club is to build a winning roster, he also knows that his role as general manager means re-energizing a passionate fan-base that he is deeply familiar with.
“It's a club that has a lot of potential,” Onstad said. “I was actually fortunate enough to be here in 2012 when they opened the stadium. It was actually the first game, it was against DC. So, it was nice to see and you could see that people were very excited. I think people were happy to come to the stadium, happy to support the team. What I've seen from afar is that you've kind of lost that a little bit – the connection to the community, connection to the ex-players that you've had. I'm hoping that we can bring that back."
Fortunately for Ted Segal, he believes that he found the right man to lead this mission.
“To a person,” Segal said, tapping the table with his finger to emphasize each word, “Pat was recognized for the quality of his temperament and judgement and his readiness to take on this role. Pat knows what it takes to build a winning culture in Houston and he has the character to execute that objective."
With less than three months before the start of the 2022 preseason to work with, Onstad didn’t waste a moment, joining the team on its trip to Montreal for the final match of the 2021 season When the airplane’s wheels touch down in Houston on Thursday afternoon, the Club’s calendar flips to 2022 and its new general manager wants to be ready to hit the ground running.