Washington, D.C. (February 4, 2010) – D.C. United announced today the club has signed 2009 MLS Rookie of the Year finalist Chris Pontius to a new contract. United originally selected the promising young star with the seventh overall pick of the 2009 MLS SuperDraft from the University of California, Santa Barbara. Per team and League policy, terms of the new agreement were not released.
“Chris had a terrific rookie season and we are pleased to have completed a new deal with him,” said United General Manager Dave Kasper. “We believe that his best soccer is still ahead and we will challenge him in every way to ensure he reaches his full potential. We are excited about his future, and we look forward to his contributions this season and beyond.”
“I’m very excited to have reached a new deal with United,” said Pontius. “I had a great time last year and we have big plans for the future of this club. I’m looking forward to contributing even more to the team and I’m excited for the 2010 season.”
Pontius made his presence felt immediately on the pitch in 2009, as the first-year player scored a stunning goal against the LA Galaxy in the opening match of the season. Since that opening day strike, Pontius has consistently impacted United’s fortunes. His versatility has allowed the California native to play in nearly every offensive position on the pitch. Pontius played in all but two of the team’s 30 League matches (23 starts), registering four goals and three assists. In all competitions, Pontius played in 40 of 44 possible matches, scoring eight total goals to accompany his six assists.
For his diligent play Pontius was voted as 2009 Volkswagon Fans’ Choice at the conclusion of his rookie campaign. Additionally, the young forward was selected as one of three finalists for the 2009 MLS Rookie of the Year Award alongside Los Angeles’ Omar Gonzalez and Toronto’s Stefan Frei.
Pontius’ ascendancy in Major League Soccer follows a stellar collegiate career in Santa Barbara. During his senior year, Pontius led UCSB with 14 goals as he started each of the team’s 22 games. In 2008 the United forward was named as a MAC Hermann Trophy semifinalist, a member of the College Soccer News All-American Second Team, to the NSCAA All-American Third Tram, and the All-Far West First Team.
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