Columbus Crew SC officially announced the staff for the 2019 season under first-year head coach Caleb Porter on Monday. The club also announced that former assistant coach Pat Onstad will move from the field to a role in the front office as the club’s Technical Director. Onstad will work under new team president Tim Bezbatchenko.
“I want to congratulate Pat Onstad on his new role as Technical Director of Crew SC as he has been a valuable member of this organization and someone who has been extremely successful throughout his career,” Bezbatchenko said in the press release. “Pat’s role with the Crew is an important one as we look to continue to build a competitive roster and his experience in this League, his eye for talent and his shared passion for the vision of the new era of Crew SC made him the right person for the role.”
Onstad joined the Crew staff as an assistant under former head coach Gregg Berhalter in 2014 and remained in that role through 2018. After the departure of Berhalter to take over the United States Men’s Nationally Team, Onstad remained with the club as the Interim General Manager and helped complete the record transfer of goalkeeper Zack Steffen to Manchester City and bring in Brazilian winger Robinho.
Onstad also had a successful 16-year professional soccer career, playing in Scotland, Canada and the United States. Onstad is the MLS’s all-time leader in goals against average among goalkeepers who have played at least 15,000 minutes, posting a career mark of 1.12. During his playing days, Onstad won three MLS Cup championships (2003, 2006, 2007) and a Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup (1999). He was also twice named the MLS Goalkeeper of the Year (2003, 2005).
As previously reported by Massive Report, the Crew officially announced the appointment of Mike Matkovich, Matt Reis and Pablo Moreira as assistant coaches. Academy Under-19 Head Coach Ben Cross will also work with the Black & Gold coaching staff during preseason. Reis, Moreira and Cross all worked with the team during their first two days on preseason in Columbus. Matkovich met the group in Chula Vista, California on Friday.
“I also want to welcome Mike, Matt and Pablo to the Club,” Bezbatchenko said in the press release. The quality of the coaches we have brought on reflects a continued commitment and investment from the Edwards and Haslam Families to build a high-caliber organization and we’re thrilled to see the staff come together under Caleb as the team gets its preseason camp started in California. I also want to welcome Ben to the coaching staff for preseason as we continue to reinforce strong integration between the First Team and the Academy.”
Matkovich comes to Columbus after a long and successful coaching career at various levels. He worked as the Director of Operations and Coaching for the Chicago Fire Juniors Soccer Club from 2011-2018. While that time, Matkovich also served as the head coach of the Des Moines Menace of the Premier Development League from 2015-2016. In MLS level, Matkovich was an assistant coach with the Chicago Fire (2009-2013), Chivas USA (2008-2009) and Toronto FC (2007-2008). He also served as the head coach of the U.S. U-18 Men’s National Team from 2009-2011.
Reis is a former player and coach with a wealth of experience as well. He spent the last two years as the goalkeeper for the USMNT following three seasons with the LA Galaxy, which included an MLS Cup title in 2014. Reis had a successful 16-year career as a goalkeeper in MLS, including five seasons with the Galaxy (1998-2002) and 11 years with the New England Revolution (2003-2013). During his playing career, Reis won the CONCACAF Champions Cup (2000), two Supporters’ Shields (1998, 2002), the North American SuperLiga (2008), MLS Cup (2002) and the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup (2001 and 2007). Reis’ 293 regular-season appearances rank fifth all-time among MLS goalkeepers.
Moreira joins the Crew staff as the most familiar with Porter. He played for the Black & Gold’s new head coach at Akron and joined him on his staff as the Director of Soccer Operations from 2011-13. Moreira moved with Porter when he became the head coach of the Portland Timbers, serving as the club’s video analyst in 2013 before becoming an assistant coach the next year. Moreira was part of the Timbers staff that won MLS Cup against the Crew in 2015.
Cross joined the Crew Academy in 2016 from Empire United Soccer Academy in New York, where he was a coach from 2005-2016. He was highly recommended to Porter upon taking the job in Columbus and will be with the First Team during preseason.
“We are pleased to welcome Mike, Matt and Pablo to the Columbus Crew SC,” Porter said in the press release. “In looking to build our coaching staff it was a priority to hire people who would be the right cultural fit and equally as important was having coaches who were hungry to join the Crew. We’ve found that fit in Mike, Matt and Pablo. They are all top coaches who possess strong leadership qualities, exceptional character and a vast knowledge and experience at the MLS, National Team and Youth development levels. I look forward to their contributions as we begin our preseason camp in Chula Vista. I also want to welcome Crew SC Academy U-19 Coach Ben Cross, who will be joining our staff for preseason, as he has proven to be a talented young coach in our system and I believe his presence in camp will be beneficial.”