Gauchos in the Pros: Kennedy, Pontius Make MLS All-Star Team
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – Former UCSB men's soccer standouts Dan Kennedy and Chris Pontius were both named to Major League Soccer's All-Star roster this past Sunday by head coach Ben Olsen.
Kennedy, who plays for Chivas USA, is one of two goalkeepers on the squad, along with Jimmy Nielsen of Sporting Kansas City. This will be Kennedy's first All-Star Game.
Kennedy's play this season has solidified him as one of the top goalkeeper's in the MLS, with five shutouts in 17 games played. After missing all of 2009 with a knee injury, Kennedy worked his way back in 2010 and then earned the starting spot full-time, playing every minute of every game during the 2011 season, while recording nine shutouts for Chivas USA. Drafted in the fourth round of the 2005 Supplemental Draft, Kennedy opted to play professionally in Puerto Rico and Chile before returning to Chivas USA for the 2008 season. Kennedy played for UCSB from 2001-04 and helped lead the Gauchos to their first NCAA College Cup Final in 2004.
Pontius, who plays for D.C. United, is one of four forwards on the 2012 MLS All-Star roster and is the youngest player on this year's squad. This is also his first All-Star team selection.
Pontius was the seventh overall pick in the 2009 MLS SuperDraft and scored his first MLS goal just 62 minutes into the season opener against the Galaxy that year. A knee injury cut his 2010 season short, but he bounced back in 2011, starting 25 games and tallying seven goals and five assists for D.C. United. This season, Pontius has a team-leading nine goals in just 15 games played. Pontius played for UCSB from 2005-08, helping the Gauchos to their first NCAA Championship in 2006.
The MLS All-Star Game will be played on July 25 at PPL Park in Chester, Pennsylvania. The game is at 5:30 p.m. Pacific Time and will be televised on ESPN2.
Make sure you don't miss out on seeing the current Gauchos in action by purchasing your season tickets. The popular Family Plan includes five tickets for just $178. This year, the plan will also serve as a Flex Plan with either two season passes and three GKids memberships or five tickets – it's your call! GKids remains the best value in town for kids with access to every regular season game in every sport while wearing your GKids t-shirt. Call (805) 893-UCSB or click here to purchase your season tickets.