Castrol Weekly Top 20: No doubt it's Pontius' turn
Was there any doubt?
D.C. United’s Chris Pontius put together one of the best single-game performances of the season against the Red Bulls on Sunday. It included a pair of golazos, one goal-line clean-up and 87 minutes of dominance over a hated rival.
The payoff was three points, an MLS Player of the Week award (the second of his career) and a week atop the Castrol Index Weekly Top 20 for the 24-year-old attacker. It all seems to signify a return to full health for Pontius, who’s been recovering from a broken leg suffered at Chivas USA last autumn. And it’s certainly welcomed by a United side that struggled to find the net out of the gates this season.
Pulling in at No. 2 is Earthquakes utility man Khari Stephenson, who split his time between forward and midfield in San Jose’s 3-1 win over Real Salt Lake. The big Jamaican opened the scoring on the night with a header late in the first half, and then helped finish RSL off with a perfect chip to Chris Wondolowski for the evening’s final goal.
Placing third was Vancouver forward Sébastien Le Toux, who had a goal midweek in the Whitecaps’ 3-1 loss to Sporting KC, then was active at the weekend in a 1-0 win over FC Dallas. The Frenchman has been Vancouver’s most consistent attacker this season, and with the return to fitness of Camilo – who had the winner against Dallas – things could be looking up for the ‘Caps.
Sporting defender Aurélien Collin claimed his typical spot near the top of the list after yet another week with a goal (he got his in the win over Vancouver) and despite seeing his side drop a 1-0 decision to Portland on the weekend. Rounding out the top five is San Jose attacker Simon Dawkins, who headed home the game-winner against RSL and looked lively all night from his left midfield spot.
Perhaps the biggest surprise inclusion is that of Chivas USA right back James Riley, whose slip left the door open for Freddy Adu to backheel in the only goal in Philadelphia’s 1-0 win over the Goats at the Home Depot Center.
On the other side of the coin, the absence of Eddie Gaven will surely raise some eyebrows after his two-goal effort gave the Crew a 2-2 home draw with Houston. Crew forward Olman Vargas, who saw his bid for a point-blank game-winner twice denied by Dynamo ‘keeper Tally Hall, was the lone Columbus representative in the top 20, pulling in at No. 19.
The lone central midfielder on the list was LA’s David Beckham, who came in No. 18 after a strong performance in the Galaxy’s 2-1 win over Colorado.
Weekly Top 20 Performers - Week 7 Powered by Castrol Index
|1||Chris Pontius||Forward||D.C. United||87||1,940|
|2||Khari Stephenson||Midfielder||San Jose Earthquakes||90||1,510|
|3||Sébastien Le Toux||Forward||Vancouver Whitecaps||90||1,407|
|4||Aurélien Collin||Defender||Sporting Kansas City||90||1,221|
|5||Simon Dawkins||Midfielder||San Jose Earthquakes||90||1,138|
|6||Patrick Nyarko||Midfielder||Chicago Fire||90||1,134|
|7||Brian Ching||Forward||Houston Dynamo||84||1,125|
|8||Joe Cannon||Goalkeeper||Vancouver Whitecaps||90||1,124|
|9||Zac MacMath||Goalkeeper||Philadelphia Union||90||1,124|
|10||Troy Perkins||Goalkeeper||Portland Timbers||90||1,115|
|11||Jimmy Nielsen||Goalkeeper||Sporting Kansas City||90||1,105|
|12||Chris Wondolowski||Forward||San Jose Earthquakes||90||1,102|
|13||Will Bruin||Forward||Houston Dynamo||90||1,062|
|14||Reggie Lambe||Midfielder||Toronto FC||90||1,015|
|15||André Hainault||Defender||Houston Dynamo||90||920|
|16||Omar Cummings||Forward||Colorado Rapids||90||869|
|17||James Riley||Defender||Chivas USA||90||862|
|18||David Beckham||Midfielder||Los Angeles Galaxy||90||857|
|19||Olman Vargas||Forward||Columbus Crew||90||846|
|20||Gonzalo Segares||Defender||Chicago Fire||90||833|