Meet your new DC United players: Rodney Wallace and Chris PontiusBy: jon | January 15th, 2009
In the first round of the 2009 MLS Superdraft, DC picked Rodney Wallace, Defender- Maryland with the number 6 pick, and Chris Pontius, Forward, UC-Santa Barbara. As I am not a college soccer watcher of any sort, I will give you the scouting reports I’ve found thus far.
Coach Cirovski on Wallace: “Rodney is a special player. He has tremendous focus and competitiveness. Every play, every practice and every game, he hates to lose even the smallest battle. As a result, he gets special victories. All aspects of his game have improved. I expect him to be one of the top players in the ACC this season.”
3rd Degree.net on Wallace: Speedy left back struggled a bit at the combine but has impressive raw tools. Inexperienced, but young with upside. Generation adidas. Reputation for running the field and attacking prowess out of the back. Big upside.2007: ACC All-Freshman Team.
An extensive SI profile of him here. Some pull quotes…
“The thing that makes him stand out is that he’s the engine for the team,” says Bullis ninth-year head coach George Moore, 38. “He’s the table setter. He’s the tempo setter. He practices as if he’s playing a game. His intensity is such that he’s constantly pushing his teammates — I think even to the point of frustrating them sometimes because they’re not used to going that hard every second.”
“I’ve always had this competitive edge,” says Wallace, 18, who was born in San Jose, Costa Rica and moved to the United States when he was 9. “I don’t like to lose. Even if we’re playing seven-on-seven in practice, losing is not an option. That’s why that level of intensity is always, always there.”
“His teammates respect him, but it can get a little chippy sometimes during training,” adds Moore, who has coached the Bulldogs to three IAC titles. “But you really want that passion and aggression. I think the guys understand where he’s coming from. It’s hard to fault hard work. You love that emotion. It forces guys to step up.”
3rd Degree.net on Pontius- ” The best all around forward at the combine, showed he has the individual skill to separate and finish.A highly versatile and polished player, Pontius played left midfield early in his college career before moving up front as a junior, lighting up the score sheets, and being named the 2007 Big West Offensive Player of the Year and 2008 Third Team All-American. It’s yet unclear if he will play up top or wide in midfield at the pro level as he has the size and skill to do either. 14 goals this year gets him 29 for his career. One of two unanimous selections to the 2008 All Big West Team”
UCSB site- “Developed into a dynamic scorer as a junior in the blue and gold after moving up to the forward spot…Led the conference with 11 goals on the season and was named the Big West Offensive Player of the Year for his performance…Finished second on the squad with 24 points, adding a pair of assists to his goal total…His 11 goals scored was the most by a Gaucho since Ivan Becerra scored 12 in 2005…Found the net in four straight matches from Sept. 23-Oct. 6, a stretch that included an impressive hat trick in UCSB’s 4-0 win over UC Irvine (10/3)…Propelled Santa Barbara to a 3-2 win at Cal State Northridge (11/13) with a pair of goals…Led the Big West with five game-winners.”
Interview with Chris here.
Both are Generation Adidas (edit, nope, just Wallace) which means their salaries do not effect cap space. One pick gave us some defensive depth, the other gave us a 6 foot backup forward. It’s a win-win.