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Stacks of facts on Chris Pontius and other hat trick heroes

Apr 23, 2012, 9:10 AM EST

New York Red Bulls v DC United Getty Images

What you need to know this morning about hat tricks and Chris Pontius, the D.C. United attacker who had one in Sunday’s 4-1 win over the New York Red Bulls.

Chris Pontius’ trio of goals Sunday against New York was Major League Soccer’s third hat trick this year. Seattle’s David Estrada hit one for Seattle and Thierry Henry claimed a threesome for his Red Bulls.

These aren’t exactly rare, but are hardly commonplace, either. Ten MLS hat tricks were recorded in 2011, including two apiece from D.C. United’s Dwayne De Rosario and Justin Braun (at Chivas USA then, now with Montreal.)

Back to Pontius: Sunday’s outburst was easily the young American’s best match since last September, when he had all three assists in a 3-0 win over Chivas USA. Of course, that was also the night he left with a broken tibia, not to return again until 2012. (United sorely missed its most reliable attacker through the 2011 season; The Black and Red’s season went into a death spiral from there and the club missed the playoffs yet again.)

Charlie Davies (remember him?) had the hat trick for United that night against Chivas USA. But they were fairly simple goals, mostly off the back-breaking hard work of Pontius, who really was soaring that night

And a little something on Pontius from United manager Ben Olsen, as told to the Washington Post: “He still doesn’t know how to play forward — that’s the scary thing. He’s still new at the position, and some of the movements can get a lot better, but three goals isn’t too bad.”

Enjoy video of the three goals (and shake your head in disgust at the absurd schoolboy defending on display from the visitors): 

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