·15 August 2022
·15 August 2022
One of the most important assets a goalkeeper can have is the ability to bounce back from mistakes.
Dayne St. Clair did just that on Sunday, making no fewer than seven saves and keeping Nashville SC's tally down to one despite 2.26 xGOT faced to help Minnesota United win 2-1 on the road.
It was the perfect tonic for St. Clair who made two high-profile errors to gift the Colorado Rapids a pair of goals in their 4-3 win over the Loons last week.
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Helped by a standout performance in the MLS All-Star Game, the 25-year-old goalkeeper was able to quickly get the negativity out of his system and inspire his team back to winning ways in Week 25.
“Coming out of the Colorado [Rapids] game, it’s no secret that I cost us points on the road there, so being able to bounce off that game and have a mental refresh at the All-Star was big for me," St. Clair told reporters after Sunday's win at GEODIS Park.
"To put on a good performance there, it was nice as well. Like I said, during that game, I’m using that game to keep pushing because more important is the games for Minnesota this year. I’m glad that I was able to have a performance like that tonight, and I’m looking to build off of that for the game against Austin [FC].”
MNUFC head coach Adrian Heath - who took charge of the MLS team for the All-Star Game - was impressed by St. Clair's mental fortitude but believes the Rapids performance last week was a blip, rather than a loss of form.
“I wouldn’t go as far as saying re-finding his form. I think he’s had one bad game and when you’re the goalkeeper that can happen," Heath said, adding on the effect of St. Clair's All-Star performance: "I thought midweek was huge for him because to get on 30 minutes and make a couple of big saves and feel the love of the crowd, which he did on Wednesday, I think that helped his confidence no end. He’s carried from Wednesday to tonight. I’m really pleased with him."
With only nine regular-season games to go in the 2022 MLS campaign, St. Clair has a limited number of chances remaining to impress Canadian Men's National Team head coach John Herdman ahead of the World Cup.
Right now, Red Star Belgrade stopper Milan Borjan is the CanMNT's number one choice. However, St. Clair is battling with Maxime Crepeau to add to his single senior cap and become the understudy.
St. Clair's form is sure to have him in the conversation for MLS Goalkeeper of the Year and he's already confirmed Herdman is keeping track of his progress.
"Going into the season, I definitely made it very clear to Adrian that I need to be playing to make sure I get myself the best opportunity to get a spot on that roster," St. Clair said of his World Cup goals. "I know my performances week-in and week-out is what’s going to control whether I’m on that plane or not. I’ve been a part of the last couple camps now, which has been nice.
"I know the plane doesn’t take off tomorrow, so I know to keep doing my job. John [Herdman] messaged me to congratulate me on making the All-Star. I’ve talked to Simon Eaddy quite a bit, the goalie coach, so I just stay in contact with the upcoming camp.”
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