MLS Awards: Pontius named Comeback Player of the Year

Traded by D.C. United nearly a year ago after battling through several injury-marred seasons, midfielder Chris Pontius marked his first year in Philly by winning the Comeback Player of the Year award.

Pontius, taken as the No. 7 pick by United in the 2009 MLS SuperDraft, led the Union by scoring 12 goals while starting 32 of his 33 appearances. The 12 goals matched his previous best, attained in 2012 while earning All-Star and Best XI honors, and he also registered a career-high six assists. He had managed just six goals and four assists in the previous three seasons (2013-15) during which he underwent a hamstring surgery that continued to bother him after he resumed playing.

"Honestly, I think my body just finally settled down,” he said. “We trained a lot in Philly – I would say more than any other team in the league. My body put up with a lot this year and responded well.”

The 29-year-old native of Yorba Linda, Calif. finished first in voting conducted among league players, media members, and team executives. Former New York City FC midfielder Frank Lampard finished second and Orlando City attacker Kevin Molino was third.

Player

Player Vote

Media Vote

Club Vote

Average %

Chris Pontius (Philadelphia)

14.79%

22.33%

30.14%

22.42%

Frank Lampard (NYCFC)

17.61%

18.45%

9.59%

15.21%

Kevin Molino (Orlando City)

9.15%

16.50%

12.33%

12.66%

Jozy Altidore (Toronto FC)

14.08%

10.68%

10.96%

11.91%

Bill Hamid (D.C. United)

4.93%

6.80%

12.33%

8.02%

 
MLS Comeback Player of the Year winners:
2016 --  Chris Pontius (Philadelphia Union)
2015 --  Tim Melia (Sporting Kansas City)
2014 --  Rodney Wallace (Portland Timbers)
2013 --  Kevin Alston (New England Revolution)
2012 -- Eddie Johnson (Seattle Sounders FC)
2011 -- David Beckham (Los Angeles Galaxy)
2010 -- Bobby Convey (San Jose Earthquakes)
2009 -- Zach Thornton (Chivas USA)
2008 --  Kenny Cooper (FC Dallas)
2007 -- Eddie Johnson (Kansas City Wizards)
2006 -- Richard Mulrooney (FC Dallas)
2005 --  Chris Klein (Kansas City Wizards)
2004 -- Brian Ching (San Jose Earthquakes)
2003 -- Chris Armas (Chicago Fire)
2002 -- Chris Klein (Kansas City Wizards)
2001 --  Troy Dayak (San Jose Earthquakes)
2000 -- Tony Meola (Kansas City Wizards)
 
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