On Monday, the LA Galaxy announced the signing of nine-year MLS veteran, Chris Pontius. The 30-year-old joined the club immediately for preseason training. A player with a long MLS history joins the club with perhaps the most history.
After a terrific four-year career at UCSB, Pontius was picked #7 overall in the 2009 MLS SuperDraft by D.C. United. The midfielder showed the league both his ability to score and his ability to create during his seven-year spell with the club who drafted him.
In his rookie season, in 2009, Pontius scored four goals and added three assists. The following season was a bit of a step backward as he lessened his tallies in each category and finished the season with 2 goals and 1 assist.
However, in 2011, Pontius broke out when he scored 7 goals and assisted five goals, both career high up to that point. 2012 was even better for the California native as he scored 12 goals and added 4 assists earning himself a place in the All-Star team where he took home the MLS All-Star Game MVP award.
2013 was a tough year as it where his injuries began, however, 2014 was even worse. Pontius only made 6 appearances, with only half of those being starts. 2015 was a step in the right direction but the former MLS ASG MVP was still not at his best.
In 2016 the midfielder was sent to the Philadelphia Union where he matched his career high in goals with 12 and broke his career high assist tally with 6. These numbers saw Chris earn MLS Comeback Player of the Year honors.
Despite that, 2017 was not quite as good to the 30-year-old as he posted the same amount of assists as he did the season prior but dropped to just two goals. This move led to Philadelphia allowing him to enter free agency where Los Angeles eventually picked him up.
LA Galaxy Offseason
The MLS veteran was not the first big-name signing the club has made this winter. In one of the moves of the offseason, the Galaxy acquired Ola Kamara in exchange for Gyasi Zardes.
Prior to that, LA signed former Pontius teammate Perry Kitchen. Former San Jose Earthquakes goalkeeper David Bingham has also joined the club resolving the issue between the sticks. To further that, the club signed another keeper in Brian Sylvestre.
The club also added plenty of players to the backline including Jorgen Skjelvik, Rolf Feltscher, and Emrah Klimenta. Ashley Cole also re-signed with the club as well as midfielder Baggio Husidic. Servando Carrasco also joined the five-time MLS champions to help out the midfield.
Sigi Schmid, the manager of the LA Galaxy said "Chris is a proven and experienced player in our league who can bolster our roster immediately." He went on to say “He is a Southern California native who will be a valuable addition to our squad both on the field and in the locker room. We look forward to him joining the team as we begin preseason training.”
Schmid doesn't seem to believe the gas tank is empty for Pontius as he claimed "I’ve always liked him from his youth days to his Santa Barbara days. He’s had a pretty good career in this league so far, and still have a lot to give.”
Pontius himself knows competition at the club is tough as he said “This team has a lot of attacking talent, and I have to earn my way in. I’m the new guy here, and I have to prove myself in the preseason and produce."
The midfielder finished things up by saying “The best teams that I’ve been on are teams that have depth and players that push each other in practice. When you have a bunch of attacking options, you’re going to get that. I think the future is bright for us.”
All quotes via LAGalaxy.com