Twenty months ago, Dynamo goalkeeper Tally Hall was an anonymous MLS backup (although one blessed with a fairly distinctive name – and that counts for style points at least, right?).
But Dynamo management knew what it had in Hall, and when longtime Dynamo starter Pat Onstad retired, club deciders made zero effort add a veteran starter. There was no need, in their minds.
Now we know why, as Hall has consistently delivered the gloved goods. Not just in the regular season, but in the playoffs, too; He has allowed just five goals in eight playoff matches to go with 31 saves.
We asked Hall about the additional year of growth, and about that national team attention everyone keeps looking for.
PST Q: You were a backup previously in Denmark and then for two seasons behind Pat Onstad in Houston. But at this point you’ve had two full seasons and nearly two full playoff campaigns. How much different do you feel this year compared to last year as a “freshman” starter?
I think it’s more just having a second season under my melt. That gives you a little more awareness of where we break down and when and why. So the more you are aware of where the breakdowns are, the more you can try to prevent it.”
PST Q: Do you see a difference in the way your teammates approach you now, since you have this greater level of awareness from the two full seasons?
Yeah, they expect more out of me. There are times they keep me accountable for things they expect me to have now. And it goes both ways. It’s not that I have a second season under my belt, it’s more like we have second season together. So there’s an understanding with each other that we know what we have to do. And when one person in our back four and myself – so, the five of us – is out of sync, the other people will try to bring them in. Sometimes it’s me out of sync, sometimes it’s a center back or an outside back. So the five of us, our shape is very important. So, I would say we approach each other differently.”
PST Q: So many fans would like to see you get more U.S. national team attention. Is that something you still think about or consider very much?
It’s an obvious goal of mine to play for the United States. But I’ve been saying for a long time, you have to focus on your club, do the right things and eventually, that either happens or it doesn’t happen. But you have to stay focused. I am not disappointed for not getting called up. It would be a huge honor, of course, and it would be a privilege. But to not get called by our country isn’t a detriment. It’s not saying I’m a bad goalkeeper. It’s just that the coach thinks there are better options out there now. That’s fine, and I move forward.”