D.C. United captain Chris Pontius was honored this week with his selection to the 2012 MLS Best XI side, as voted on by MLS players, staff and media.
Today Pontius fell agonizingly short in the polls to Sounders striker Eddie Johnson for the Comeback Player of the Year award. Pontius, returning from a broken leg that ended his 2011 season, led his club in scoring with 13 goals, 4 assists in 31 games and captained the Black and Red to their first playoff berth in five years. Pontius was also named to this year's All-Star team and voted the Most Valuable Player after scoring the equalizer and assisting ont he game-winner in a 3-2 victory over Europena champs Chelsea FC.
Three of United's finest were named as finalists for three different MLS awards but despite their outstanding accomplishments in D.C.'s rebound season, each fell short in voting.
Last week Chicago defender Austin Berry stole Rookie of the Year honors for 2012 with former college teammate, Nick DeLeon, coming in as his runner up. DeLeon notched six goals in his rookie campaign --a record for a DCU freshman-- and played an integral role in three of United's four playoff goals this season.
Olsen, a finalist for MLS Coach of the Year, came in third behind Peter Vermes (SKC) and the overwhelming winner, San Joe's Frank Yallop.
In just his second full season at the helm of his former club, Ben Olsen pulled DCU from the bottom of the Eastern Conference to the top, finishing the 2012 season with a seven game unbeaten streak and advancing to the the Eastern Conference Championship for the first time since 2006. Olsen's club claimed second place in the regular season standings with its 17-10-7 record, which included an 18-game unbeaten streak at home.