D.C. United's Chris Pontius Named To 2012 MLS Best XI

Chris Pontius was named to MLS's 2012 Best XI today. - Patrick Smith

We always thought Chris Pontius would be a top-tier MLS player if he could ever get through a season without suffering a serious injury. He fulfilled that promise in 2012, and today was named to the MLS Best XI for the season as a reward.

D.C. United attacker Chris Pontius had an outstanding season, and now he's reaping the spoils off the field. A season that saw Pontius score 12 goals and take on a leadership role on MLS's third-place team was good enough for him to make the 2012 MLS Best XI.

Following a 2011 season that was sadly cut short due to a broken leg and a 2010 hampered by a hamstring problem that required surgery, the talk surrounding Pontius was that he could make a huge impact if he could just avoid injury for a full season. It was not seen as a coincidence that United's 2011 season fell apart after the UC Santa Barbara product was hurt.

The hopes that a healthy Pontius would torch MLS proved accurate, as he finished the season as MLS's highest-scoring midfielder while constantly terrorizing opposing fullbacks from both flanks and occasionally as a second forward.

It wasn't just the volume of goals from Pontius, who also notched four assists. The timing and importance of those goals was crucial: Six of Party Boy's goals were game-winners, good enough for third-best in MLS for the season and tying a club record set all the way back in 1996 by Steve Rammel. In other words, United picked up 12 points in the standings from those goals; that's the difference between 2nd and 6th in the East.

Pontius further impressed by stepping up as a leader following Dwayne De Rosario's late-season knee injury. While plenty has been made of the change in tactics and formation Ben Olsen instituted, it must be said that it never would have worked without players buying in. As the club's longest-tenured player, CP13 has a big influence in the locker room and was a big factor in getting a formerly attack-minded team changing gears and succeeding with a more conservative approach.

Along with his 12 goals and 4 assists, Pontius finished third on the team in minutes played (2,339), second in shots taken (71), first in shots on goal (29), and second in goals per 90 minutes played (0.46).

Outside of his regular season achievements, Pontius won the 2012 MLS All-Star Game MVP after getting a goal and an assist against Chelsea. There was also the significant role he played in leading the team from the playing field to the upper deck at Red Bull Arena to thank fans for traveling up despite the miserable weather that eventually forced the game to be cancelled.

The full Best XI is as follows:

Goalkeeper: Jimmy Nielsen (Sporting Kansas City)
Defender: Aurelien Collin (Sporting Kansas City)
Defender: Victor Bernardez (San Jose Earthquakes)
Defender: Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City)
Midfielder: Osvaldo Alonso (Seattle Sounders)
Midfielder: Landon Donovan (LA Galaxy)
Midfielder: Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City)
Midfielder: Chris Pontius (DC United)
Forward: Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes)
Forward: Robbie Keane (LA Galaxy)
Forward: Thierry Henry (New York Red Bulls)

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Black And Red United

You must be a member of Black And Red United to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Black And Red United. You should read them.

Join Black And Red United

You must be a member of Black And Red United to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Black And Red United. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9353_tracker