Picking D.C. United's player of the month winner this October is something of an odd task. We made the decision to treat the playoffs as their own month rather than separate the 2-1 knockout round win over New England from the rest of the postseason, but that left us with 3 games to vote from. Further complicating matters: United had 2 wins over bad teams before getting steamrolled by a good team. The 5-0 loss in Columbus kind of hangs over the month as a result.
In the end, our staff strongly favored the resurgent performances of Chris Pontius. United's longest-tenured player, after 2 long stop-start seasons due to injury, suddenly seemed back to being the constantly dangerous, fleet-footed, decisive attacking threat from both the right and left sides of midfield. It was a development that came none too soon for United, as he a) added more danger to United's attack as the third man getting into the box, b) allowed Ben Olsen to field what is his most creative (and probably best) forward pairing by freeing up Chris Rolfe, and c) added an element of athleticism that United sometimes lacks going forward.
I'll stop now and let the voters make their argument:
Considering how D.C. United went out of the regular season in October it is a little tough to think of candidates, but Chris Pontius' rise to form in the second half of the game against New York City FC and his work against the Chicago Fire is enough for me to give him a vote. He was maybe a guy who was the least bad against Columbus Crew SC for (Marco's) sake. Heal up Chris.
It was close, but my vote this month goes to the Party Boy, Chris Pontius. He played really well, particularly in the 2nd half against NYCFC and was excellent against Chicago. His form the past month is the reason we were able to stop the bleeding of the losing streak and secure our playoff positioning.
Hands down, October belongs to Chris Pontius. His play was inspired and kept hope alive.
Adam M Taylor
Pontius - CP13 was the best field player in black-and-red all month, and it's not particularly close. He got things figured out at exactly the right time, and here's hoping his tricky hamstring cooperates in November.
Party for Party Boy. He had a nice little run of form in October, giving us a brief reminder of why we keep him around. When he's on, Pontius is a big asset for this team, and he was feeling it in October.
The October player of the month has to be Chris Pontius. His resurgence played a big part in the two wins, the two wins that helped propel United into the second round of the playoffs, and hopefully that resurgence hasn't been cut short by another injury.
For the second straight month, we were very close to a unanimous decision. Who's the fringe lunatic keeping us from total agreement?
Me! (voting for Fabian Espindola):
Espindola was United's best player in their 2 October wins, and I don't think the attack's struggles against Columbus overshadow that. Truth be told, I didn't even have Pontius as my runner-up; I thought Perry Kitchen was very good against NYCFC and Chicago and did what could be done while the house around him collapsed in Columbus. In my book at least, Espindola's dominance in terms of generating chances, getting assists, and breaking defensive schemes with his odd style of play made this an easy call.
Let us know in the comments if you think I'm the weirdo - I mean, by pure numbers I appear to be the weirdo here - or if democracy has gone astray. Or maybe you have a third party candidate to make a case for?