LA Galaxy sign MLS free-agent winger, SoCal native Chris Pontius

TRANSFER TRACKER STATUS: Signing

The LA Galaxy continued their effort to rebound from a miserable 2017 campaign Monday by signing an MLS veteran who, as much as anyone, knows about mounting a comeback or two.

Yes, Chris Pontius is heading to his native Southern California to join the Galaxy after signing a free-agent contract as MLS preseason begins.

The 30-year-old Pontius won MLS's Comeback Player of the Year award in 2016 with the Philadelphia Union, and despite repeated battles with injuries over his career, has 45 goals and 29 assists over nine MLS seasons.

“Chris is a proven and experienced player in our league who can bolster our roster immediately,” LA Galaxy coach Sigi Schmid said in a statement. “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.”

Now age 30, Pontius is coming off two mostly healthy seasons with Philadelphia after the injury bug plagued him repeatedly over his first seven years with D.C. United.

He enjoyed a career year in 2016, scoring 12 goals and contributing six assists to help the Union qualify for just their second postseason in club history. But he regressed substantially last season, hitting the net only twice in 2017 as Philadelphia failed to build on their promise.

Pontius grew up in nearby Yorba Linda, California, and played collegiately about 100 miles northwest of the StubHub Center at UC-Santa Barbara.

He returns home to a roster where, for perhaps the first time in his career, he won't be looked upon as a primary offensive threat.

With teammates like Ola Kamara, Giovani dos Santos, Jonathan dos Santos, Romain Alessandrini and Sebastien Lletget, the 2012 Best XI recipient likely qualifies as a depth player for Schmid's side.

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