D.C. United announced today that midfielder Chris Pontius was named to the 2012 MLS Best XI side. The honor is voted on by MLS players, MLS club management, and media and is based solely on regular-season performance.
Pontius, United’s longest tenured player, had a career campaign in 2012. After suffering season-ending injuries in 2010 and 2011, Pontius set highs in goals (12), games played (31), games started (26), minutes (2,339), shots (71) and shots on goal (29). Six of Pontius’ 12 goals this season were game-winners, tied for the club record set in 1996 by Steve Rammel and tied for third in MLS in 2012.
“Chris is coming off a terrific season with United and he is very deserving of this honor,” said D.C. United General Manager Dave Kasper. “He is part of a terrific core group of returning players, and we are excited for our future,” Kasper continued.
Pontius was selected to the 2012 MLS All-Star team and was named the All-Star game’s Most Valuable Player after scoring the equalizer and assisting on the game-winner en route to a 3-2 win over European champions Chelsea FC.
In April, Pontius was unanimously selected by the North American Soccer Reporters as Player of the Week, making him the only player to be a two-time unanimous selection.
Pontius was drafted by D.C. United with the seventh overall pick in the 2009 MLS SuperDraft and was re-signed in September of 2012. Over a four-year career with the Black-and-Red, Pontius has played in 101 games (87 starts) and has collected 25 goals and 13 assists.
MLS' Best XI
- Goalkeeper – Jimmy Nielsen (Sporting Kansas City)
- Defender – Victor Bernardez (San Jose Earthquakes)
- Defender – Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City)
- Defender – Aurelien Collin (Sporting Kansas City)
- Midfielder – Osvaldo Alonso (Seattle Sounders FC)
- Midfielder – Landon Donovan (LA Galaxy)
- Midfielder – Chris Pontius (D.C. United)
- Midfielder – Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City)
- Forward – Thierry Henry (New York Red Bulls)
- Forward – Robbie Keane (LA Galaxy)
- Forward – Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes)