Chris Pontius’ revival in Philadelphia is one of the biggest reasons why the Union are currently sitting in first place in the Eastern Conference.
Others around the league are taking notice.
On Friday, Pontius was voted MLS Player of the Week by the North American Soccer Reporters, marking the first time a Union player has won the award since Jack McInerney in 2013.
Pontius had a goal and an assist during Wednesday’s 3-2 win over Columbus Crew SC, increasing his goal total to five and assist total to four, which ties him for the team lead in both categories.
Pontius’ goal came in the 21st minute Wednesday as the midfielder cut to the center and drove one into the back of the net — with the help of a deflection — to tie the game at 1-1. He then helped put the Union in front with a strong move down the sideline and a pass across the box that found Vincent Nogueira, who scored the game’s second goal.
Pontius, who spent the first seven years of his career with D.C. United, had been named MLS Player of the Week three teams before but none since his All-Star season of 2012. The 29-year-old winger dealt with injuries the three years after that before being dealt to Philly and becoming a vital part of the Union attack, starting all 14 games.
Because of Copa America Centenario, which begins Friday night when the U.S. national team takes on Colombia (9:30 p.m., FS1), Pontius and the Union are off until June 15 when they host their former affiliate, the Harrisburg City Islanders, in the U.S. Open Cup. Their next league game is against New York City FC at Yankee Stadium on June 18.