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Pontius gives DC a hat trick of Player of the Week awards

Chris Pontius, D.C. United - August 13, 2011

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D.C. United have registered a hat trick.

For the third consecutive week, a D.C. United attacker has claimed Player of the Week honors, as voted on by the North American Soccer Reporters. After two straight weeks of honors for Dwayne De Rosario, winger Chris Pontius got into the act this week.

The 24-year-old scored two goals in DC's 4-0 win over the Vancouver Whitecaps, which helped United continue their rise up the Eastern Conference standings.

The third-year player opened the scoring in first-half stoppage time, knocking home a pass from De Rosario. He put the result out of reach with the game's third goal in the 70th minute, pouncing on a deflected Stephen King shot.

Pontius, who has a career-high seven goals on the season, earned eight of 16 first-place votes among the media ballots with teammates Joe Willis and De Rosario also receiving consideration. Toronto FC goalkeeper Milos Kocic earned the second most first-place votes with four.

It's the second career Player of the Week award for Pontius after earning the honor in Week 12 of last year.

It's not the first time that a club has claimed three straight Player of the Week awards and the all-time mark is set at four, when the expansion Chicago Fire claimed four straight weeks of honors between Week 14 and Week 17 in 1998.

Watch Highlights: DC United 4, Vancouver Whitecaps 0

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2011 PLAYER OF THE WEEK WINNERS

Week 22: Chris Pontius (D.C. United)

Week 21: Dwayne De Rosario (D.C. United)

Week 20: Dwayne De Rosario (D.C. United)

Week 19: Sanna Nyassi (Colorado Rapids)

Week 18: Mauro Rosales (Seattle Sounders)

Week 17: Fredy Montero (Seattle Sounders)

Week 16: Joel Lindpere (New York Red Bulls)

Week 15: Mike Magee (LA Galaxy)

Week 14: Bernardo Anor (Columbus Crew)

Week 13: Steven Lenhart (San Jose Earthquakes)

Week 12: Jean Alexandre (Real Salt Lake)

Week 11: Justin Mapp (Philadelphia Union)

Week 10: Jeff Parke (Seattle Sounders)

Week 9: Justin Braun (Chivas USA)

Week 8: Joao Plata (Toronto FC)

Week 7: Will Bruin (Houston Dynamo)

Week 6: Landon Donovan (LA Galaxy)

Week 5: Luke Rodgers (New York Red Bulls)

Week 4: David Ferreira (FC Dallas)

Week 3: Camilo (Vancouver Whitecaps)

Week 2: Javier Morales (Real Salt Lake)

Week 1: Omar Bravo (Sporting Kansas City)