Pontius lead United to a huge win over Eastern Conference rivals, New York, Sunday evening at RFK Stadium. With the hat trick Pontius showed that he was the most dangerous forward on the field, despite Thierry Henry and Kenny Cooper both coming into the match with seven goals a piece. Henry did pick up another goal (MLS leading 8th goal) late in the game but by then Pontius and the Black-and-Red had already put the game away for good.
“We talked about what they did to us last year here,” Chris Pontius told the media after the match. “We didn’t forget about losing 4-0. [This year] we are a more mature team. We close games out better, and we see plays out better. We make a lot less stupid mistakes.”
Since coming on as a substitute against New England in the second half for the struggling Hamdi Salihi, D.C. United's major off season Designated Player signing, Pontius scored the game winner against the Revolution and had the hat trick in a dominating victory over the Henry led Red Bulls. Meanwhile Salihi has seen only 15 minutes of playing time over the past two games.
The four goals in a three game stretch now see Pontius tied with Maicon Santos (4 goals) as United's leading scorers.
Up next for D.C. is a home game against the Houston Dynamo who feature two players with Virginia soccer backgrounds. Brad Ownby played college soccer at the University of Virginia and club soccer for the Richmond Strikers. Corey Ashe played for the then Virginia Beach Submariners (now Piranhas) of the USL.
United is now enjoying a six game undefeated streak and find themselves in second place in the Eastern Conference with 12 points.