With its 1-1 tie against the Chicago Fire yesterday, not only did D.C. United secure the number two spot in Major League Soccer’s Eastern Conference, but three Black-and-Red standouts locked up spots in the record books.
Chris Pontius, United’s leading scorer this year with 12 goals to his name, tied the club record for game-winning goals (6). The mark was originally set in 1996 by Steve Rammel and Pontius’ clutch play throughout the year earned him a spot in the history books.
United defender Brandon McDonald missed only one game this year, due to a suspension that was served on 4/7 against the Seattle Sounders. With 33 games started, McDonald broke a long-standing single-season record of minutes played set by Jeff Agoos in MLS’ inaugural season. Jeff Agoos, also a defender, tallied an impressive 2,805 minutes in United’s first season that saw the first domestic double – MLS Cup Champions and U.S. Open Cup Champions. McDonald broke the record against the Columbus Crew on 10/20, but went on to shatter it on 10/27 against the Fire, upping his total minute output to 2,963.
Along with McDonald, another pivitoal anchor of the Black-and-Red defense was homegrown keeper Bill Hamid, a native of nearby Annandale, Va. Hamid broke the saves percentage record at 78%, well above the record held by Nick Rimando, which was set in 2003 at 76.3%. Hamid also moved into second all-time in goals-against average at 1.03 and shutouts at eight – just behind marks set by Nick Rimando (1.00) in 2004 and tying Troy Perkins’ mark at eight shutouts, set in 2006 and 2007, respectively.
If United moves forward and makes a run in the 2012 MLS Cup Playoffs, you can surely look for Pontius, McDonald, Hamid, and the rest of the Black-and-Red squad to make an impressive impact.
United will host the New York Red Bulls this Saturday, November 3 at 8:00 PM in the first leg of the Eastern Conference semifinal playoff round. The second leg will take place at New York on Wednesday, November 7 also at 8:00 PM. PURCHASE TICKETS