The Philadelphia Union have acquired Chris Pontius in a trade with D.C. United, the club announced today. DCU will receive Targeted Allocation Money and plain ol' Allocation Money, the amounts of which are, as always, undisclosed.
Aside from constant injuries, Pontius carried a high salary: With guaranteed compensation of $396,000 this year, he was fourth on United's payroll behind forwards Fabian Espindola and Alvaro Saborio and goalkeeper Bill Hamid.
With a contract option for 2016, United had four choices: exercise the option and keep him on the books at about $420,000 overall; exercise it and then trade him; decline the option and renegotiate a lower salary; or decline the option and allow him to make himself available in the re-entry draft without the team receiving compensation.
According to sources, who did not want to be identified because the deal probably won't be announced until next week, United did offer Pontius a new deal for between $250,000 and $300,000. Philadelphia, however, was willing to take him at the $420,000 rate. So United exercised the option and consummated the trade. The Colorado Rapids were also believed to be interested in him.
The reported salary will likely make Pontius the Union's third-highest-paid player, after Maurice Edu and Tranquillo Barnetta.
Since D.C. United drafted him in 2009, Chris Pontius has tallied 31 goals and 17 assists over 11,319 minutes. Once considered the future of DCU, Pontius's career has been plagued by injuries. The midfielder/forward has had intermittent left hamstring troubles since 2010, with a tibia fracture and other nagging ailments adding to his time spent on the sideline.
Before he broke his leg in late 2011, Pontius looked a promising prospect for both club and country. He was called into a number of U.S. Men's National Team camps, though he never saw game action.
In his past two seasons, Pontius has only played 1810 minutes, scoring four goals and adding one assists in that time.
What do you think of the trade? Vote in our poll and let us know in the comments!