Crew Q &A: Tom Presthus on Zack’s Record

Here’s a quick Crew Q&A from Tuesday night with former Crew goalkeeper Tom Presthus, who was once in a seven-way tie for the Crew’s all-time goalkeeper assist lead until Zack Steffen broke it with the second assist of his Crew career on Saturday, making him the first goalkeeper in MLS history to save a penalty kick and dish an assist in the same game, per Elias Sports Bureau.


As a former co-holder of the Crew’s assist record by goalkeepers, I thought I’d check in and see how you are dealing with being knocked from the top of the record book.

Well, I’m glad to see somebody do it. I think it was you who wrote up what the games were like when the goalkeepers got the assists, and I don’t remember my assist, but I did see that the score was that we lost 5-4. I was most likely having a shocker, so I don’t take a whole lot of pride in that. [Laughs]

The fact that Zack was able to do it with a shutout and while saving a penalty probably speaks more than a 5-4 goalkeeper assist. If anyone is going to break that record, I’m glad it’s him because he deserves it, although there were some pretty good names in the goalkeeper ranks for the Crew as well.

I’m glad you mentioned the penalty. I just received confirmation from Elias Sports Bureau that Zack is the first goalkeeper in MLS history to save a penalty and get an assist in the same game.

I hope that none of the forwards have watched his highlight tape because every PK save he has made is a right-footed shooter going across his body and Zack going to the right. Clearly, that’s something that Zack reads really well and he has the reaction speed and he stays big.

Let’s be honest. Zack is an exceptional goalkeeper. There’s a reason Manchester City bought him.  Not only does he make fantastic saves to keep his team in the game, he makes saves he shouldn’t make. Those are the ones that are so disheartening. Think about New England going from we got a break and we’re about to get back into this game to now thinking that was our chance. It’s so disheartening to an opponent, but also think about what a boost that is to your teammates.

I think the fact that he saved penalty and got an assist in the same game probably speaks to what the goalkeeper’s role is in the present-day game as well. It’s never been more difficult to be a goalkeeper. Especially in the system that Zack played in under Berhalter and now with Porter, where they’re trying to build out of the back. So now you have to start the attack and you also have to defend the goal. He did a pretty good job of both on Saturday.

And now Zack is tied with William Hesmer (who scored a stoppage time goal in Toronto in 2010) for the most points by a Crew goalkeeper. Will would be in the lead but he probably got robbed of an assist in that 2008 game in Colorado when he had the game of his life. I can’t find video, but the media descriptions of a flick-on header matches up with what Will has told me when we’ve talked about that game over the years. And now look at the ramifications of that scoring decision!

Clearly the concussion protocol had changed significantly after the early 2000s because Will can actually remember games. I don’t remember what happened in games, so hats off to him for actually remembering games.

I do want you to know that I had another assist as well for D.C. United. So I had two in my career.

What was the score of that game? 7-6?

[Profanity and laughter.]

It depends. If we were playing the Crew, we probably won it.

Ouch! [Profanity and laughter.] Well played. That was an impressive recovery. Dammit.


NOTE: In the unlikely event that anyone takes Tom’s brutal retort as anything more than playful revenge for my joke at him, here’s a bajillion words on what the Crew means to him and his family.


Twitter: @stevesirk
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