D.C United Midfielder Chris Pontius has been reportedly traded to Philadelphia Union, according to Ives Galarcep of Goal.com. In exchange, United will acquire allocation money in this trade that will be reportedly announced next week.
The 28-year-old midfielder will provide much needed cover on the flanks for a Philadelphia team that is in need of a retooled bench as it enters the 2016 season.
However, Pontius does bring some baggage with him to Philadelphia. Primarily, Pontius’ career has been hindered by multiple injuries. In the past three seasons, Pontius has only played in half (51 of 102) of D.C. United’s MLS Regular Season schedule. This includes a lost 2014 season in which Pontius had hamstring surgery and only played in six regular season games and two playoff games. To further compound the issue, Pontius is due to make nearly $400,000 in 2016, which is the third highest salary on the Union roster behind Tranquillo Barnetta and Maurice Edu.
On the plus side, Pontius has talent and quality that could boost this team, if he is healthy. Further, he adds another key threat to the flanks as a key sub or even a spot-starter. In his best season in MLS, Pontius registered 12 goals and four assists in route to winning the Volkswagen MLS Most Valuable Player Award, Golden Boot as well as a place in the MLS Best XI.
In 2009, Pontius was selected with the seventh overall pick in the MLS SuperDraft by United, where he had spent the last seven years of his career, tallying 31 goals as well as 17 assists.
One interesting and neglected portion of this reported deal is Earnie Stewart and his role at this point. With the new Sporting Director, Stewart, not officially starting until January, fans are curious as to the role of the former United States International in this reported transaction.