Hattiesburg – Miss.

Former MLS Goalkeeper of the Year and National Team player Jon Busch will be at The Oakes Training Center in Hattiesburg next week to work with our goalkeepers. Busch recently retired after 21 years as a professional and is looking forward to beginning a new chapter in his career in coaching and business. Busch already owns the company High Performance Goalkeeping and will be further expanding his companies footprint as time goes on.

However it was back at the front end of his career where Jon met up with our own Nigel Boulton. Nigel signed Jon as goalkeeper for the Worcester Wildfire when Jon was only recently out of college. “Jon was always going to be a top class goalkeeper. It just needed someone to take a real chance on him” Nigel explained. After leaving Worcester, Jon’s career flourished until he eventually hit the big time in the MLS. “What most people never saw was the determination and drive that pushed Jon on”, Nigel added. “I have never come across a player with so much belief and confidence in his own ability and someone who would not take adversity or disappointment as anything more than a temporary state or a tool to push on even harder. It was an honor to have been his coach for that short time”. 

Everyone at Southern States Soccer will be hoping Jon Busch can pass those traits onto his charges next week as well as improving their technique and goalkeeping knowledge.

Article below with thanks from Columbus Crew and MLS.

Busch, 41, played for Columbus Crew SC from 2002-2006 and won the 2002 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup as well as the 2004 Supporters’ Shield. A winner of the 2008 MLS Goalkeeper of the Year award, Busch made a total of 309 regular-season appearances (308 starts) in MLS from 2002-2015 and earned one cap with the U.S. Men’s National Team.

All-time, Busch retires among the top MLS goalkeepers in League history, finishing top five in several significant goalkeeper statistical categories. Busch finishes fourth in regular-season appearances (309); fourth in minutes (27,725); third in shots faced (1,577); fourth in saves (1,151); fifth in wins (113); and fourth in shutouts (83).

“I am deeply honored to have this opportunity to retire as a Crew SC player,” said Jon Busch.  “I have played for three fantastic clubs, but Columbus has always been our home. So, it is only fitting that my career ends where it began.”

“We are excited to honor Jon after an incredibly successful career that began in MLS with the Black & Gold,” said Sporting Director and Head Coach Gregg Berhalter. “Not only was Jon a key member of the club during his time here, but Jon will also be remembered as one of the top goalkeepers in League history and we’re proud to recognize him at Saturday’s match. We want to congratulate him on a stellar career and wish him the best in the next chapter of his life.”

After being selected with the 23rd overall pick in the 2002 MLS SuperDraft, Busch joined Crew SC, making his debut with the club in a home contest against the New England Revolution on March 20. Busch went on to make 14 regular-season appearances (13 starts) for the Black & Gold that season, while also playing every minute of Crew SC’s run to the 2002 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. For his efforts, Busch earned Crew SC’s Defender of the Year award. In 2004, Busch made a career-high 132 regular-season stops and held a 1.07 goals against average as the club won its first Supporters’ Shield.

In all, Busch made 84 regular-season appearances (83 starts) for Crew SC from 2002-2006, which is third on the Black & Gold’s list of most regular-season appearances by a goalkeeper, behind only William Hesmer (130) and Steve Clark (100). Busch’s 83 regular-season starts also put him in third place in Crew SC’s list of most regular-season starts, behind only Hesmer (130) and Clark (100). Additionally, Busch is in second place in the Black & Gold’s list of most saves (367) and shutouts (25), behind only Hesmer (412 saves and 41 shutouts).

Following his time with the Black & Gold, Busch played for the Chicago Fire from 2007-2009 and for the San Jose Earthquakes from 2009-2014, before returning to Chicago for the 2015 season. In 2008, he won the MLS Goalkeeper of the Year award while with the Chicago Fire. Following his second stint with the Fire, Busch joined North American Soccer League side Indy Eleven in 2016, remaining with the club through the 2017 season.

Prior to joining MLS, Busch attended the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, where he played from 1994-1996. During his time there, Busch was pivotal in helping the 49ers reach their first National Collegiate Athletic Association Men’s College Cup in 1996. Additionally, Busch was elected to the National Soccer Coaches Association of America First Team All-America in 1996. Busch then played with Worcester Wildfire, Carolina Dynamo, Hampton Roads Mariners and the Hershey Wildcats from 1997-2001 before being drafted by Crew SC in 2002.

At the international level, Busch earned one cap with the U.S. Men’s National Team, starting in a 3-0 win over Colombia on March 9, 2005 in a friendly contest at Titan Stadium in Fullerton, California