Jon Busch has been playing in Major League Soccer for 11 years, and he still doesn’t take anything for granted.
The Guilderland High School graduate said he still works hard for every start he gets as the San Jose Earthquakes’ goaltender, even though he has been the team’s defensive player of the year two years running.
“You can never take a start for granted,” said Busch prior to leaving for last weekend’s game at Toronto. “If you do, in my opinion, you’re setting yourself up to be disappointed.”
Busch made his 200th career MLS start in Saturday’s 3-0 San Jose victory over Toronto. He only needed to make one save to post his 62nd career shutout, and his second this season.
Busch has gotten plenty of support from his defenders this season. San Jose has allowed only five shots on goal over the first three games – a far cry from last year, when Busch often faced five or six shots on goal per game.
“The team we have this year, the guys we’ve added have all been terrific,” said Busch. “We’ve really improved our depth.”
The lack of shots on goal hasn’t affected Busch’s attention span. When he isn’t keeping the ball out of the net, he’s busy shouting directions to his teammates to put them in the right places to thwart scoring chances.
“I feel very focused in my play right now,” said Busch. “There is always room for improvement in that category, but I feel comfortable right now.”
Busch has lasted longer in MLS than most former Section II all-stars have lasted in any pro sport. That can be attributed to his steady play over the years for three MLS teams – San Jose, Chicago (2007-09) and Columbus (2002-06). He has amassed more than 100 saves in five of his first 10 seasons, and he recorded 10 shutouts in a season three times in that span.