April 24, 2012

Gauchos in the Pros: Pontius hat trick good enough for Player of the Week award

Courtesy of mlssoccer.com

With goal-scoring leaders like Thierry Henry and Kenny Cooper on the field at RFK Stadium, no one was expecting the newbie forward to steal the headlines.

D.C. United's Chris Pontius, who has played the majority of his MLS career at left midfield, registered a hat trick as his club's starting forward in a 4-1 win against NY, earning the media's unanimous vote as Player of the Week for Week 7 as selected by the North American Soccer Reporters.

"He still doesn't know how to play forward though and that's a scary thing," said DC manager Ben Olsen after the match. "He's still new at the position, and some of his movements can get a lot better. But three goals aren't too bad."

All 21 media members submitting ballots went with Pontius, who claimed the PotW honor twice before in 2011 (Week 22) and 2010 (Week 12). The Columbus Crew's Eddie Gaven and Chicago's Patrick Nyarko each racked up four second-place votes among the others in consideration.

The goals by Pontius came in the 8th, 32nd and 69th minutes against NY, giving the 24-year-old a total of four goals on the season in eight league appearances. His career high for goals was set last year with seven strikes.

Pontius is the second consecutive UCSB alum to garner MLS Player of the Week honors; Dan Kennedy of Chivas USA won last week's award. 


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