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Rising Star Profile: Chris Pontius [VIDEO]
by Bryan Alvarez, May 6th, 2009 7AM



[MLS] In his rookie year with D.C. United, Chris Pontius is making quite an impact. He has played every minute of every game (7 games, 630 minutes). Pontius has contributed two goals (he scored one in his debut and the other was a gamewinner) and chipped in two assists. Get to know the 21-year-old in this profile by Soccer America's Bryan Alvarez that covers on- and off-field experiences.

POSITION: Midfielder/Forward

AGE: 21

HEIGHT: 6-0. WEIGHT: 170

HOMETOWN: Yorba Linda, Calif.

YOUTH CLUBS: Irvine Strikers, Canyon Classic.

COLLEGE: UC Santa Barbara


STARTING OUT: I started playing when I was 5 years old. I played other sports, too. I loved soccer my whole life. In high school, we had a good program. I decided to focus on soccer and see how far I could take my game. I also hit a growth spurt and went on from there.

EARLY SOCCER MEMORY: I was young, about 10 or 11 years old. The first time I was with a travel team, we went to Las Vegas for a tournament. We won and I still have the trophy. It doesn't feel so big now but when we won it, it felt huge and heavy.


FIRST CLEATS: I don't know but I'm sure I used them for baseball, too.

CURRENT CLEATS: Adidas AdiPures & Adidas F50s.

OTHER SPORTS: Baseball, basketball, flag football.

FAVORITE TEAMS: Miami Dolphins, Los Angeles Angels, Manchester United and Los Angeles Lakers.

Cristiano Ronaldo & Fernando Torres.

"Man on Fire," "Beverly Hills Ninja" and "Wedding Crashers."

FAVORITE ACTOR: Denzel Washington.

FAVORITE ACTRESS: Kate Beckinsale.

FAVORITE TV SHOW: The Fresh Prince of Bel Air.

LIVING SITUATION: I share an apartment with [teammate] Rodney Wallace. It's a 2-bedroom apartment that's close to downtown. It beats dorm living!

ROOKIE OF THE YEAR: I don't think about that right now. I'm focused on trying to help the team and staying in the lineup.

MLS EXPERIENCE: It's going a lot better than I expected my first season to go. In preseason, I wasn't playing as well as I wanted to. But, I've been able to play every minute of every game. I'm just trying to earn the respect of the older players and the coaches.

COLLEGE: It was amazing. I loved it. I was at a good university and near the beach. I learned a lot and played with great players and a great staff. I made a lot of friends.

MOST INFLUENTIAL COACH: My high school [Servite] coach, Mike Lussier.

MEMORABLE COACHING ADVICE (from youth coach): I don't know if there's been one thing. My freshman year at UCSB there was a coach named Leo Chappel. He pushed me and told me a lot of things helped push me to the next level.

HOBBIES: Watching TV, I used to go to the beach, eating a lot of food. I need to get a hobby!

MUSIC: Everything. rap, Hip-hop, alternative and mainstream country.

READING: I read up on soccer stuff. I like

VACATION: I went to Hawaii once. That was amazing. I want to go to Portugal.

FAMOUS PEOPLE YOU'D INVITE TO DINNER: Cristiano Ronaldo, Will Smith, Kate Beckinsale and Barack Obama.

VIDEO (Pontius' debut goal)

VIDEO (Pontius' stoppage-time gamewinner)



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