|Full name||D.C. United|
|Owners||Erick Thohir, Jason Levien, William H.C. Chang|
|Head Coach||Ben Olsen|
|League||Major League Soccer|
|2013||Eastern Conference: 10th
|Website||Club home page|
D.C. United is an American professional soccer club based in Washington, D.C. which competes in Major League Soccer (MLS). It is one of the ten charter clubs of MLS, having competed in the league since its inception, in 1996.
D.C. United has won 13 international and domestic titles or honors over the club's history. D.C. United was one of the most successful clubs in the early years of MLS, winning 8 of its 13 titles between 1996 and 1998 under head coach Bruce Arena. United holds an MLS record for most MLS Cup and Supporters' Shields apiece, winning each honor four times, and has won the U.S. Open Cup three times. United was also the first club to win both the MLS Cup and MLS Supporters' Shield consecutively.
On the international stage, D.C. United has competed in both the CONCACAF Champions League and its predecessor, the CONCACAF Champions' Cup. The club participated in the 2005 and 2007 editions of the Copa Sudamericana. In 1998, the club won the CONCACAF Champions' Cup. Subsequently, United won the now-defunct Copa Interamericana, a CONCACAF-CONMEBOL super cup, in 1998 against Vasco da Gama of Brazil.
The team's home field is the 45,596-seat Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium, owned by the District of Columbia and located on the Anacostia River. The team has proposed building a new 24,000-seat soccer-specific stadium at multiple possible sites in the Washington metropolitan area, the most recent proposal being at Buzzard Point just a few blocks from Nationals Park. The team is owned by the consortium D.C. United Holdings. The team's head coach is former long-time starting midfielder Ben Olsen, who has coached the team since 2010.
Players such as Jaime Moreno, Marco Etcheverry, and Eddie Pope are among the team's most successful stars. D.C. United's fan base includes three supporters' clubs. The club's official nickname is the "Black-and-Red" and home uniforms are black and white with accents of red. The team's name alludes to the "United" appellation commonly found in the names of soccer teams in the United Kingdom and elsewhere.
- 1 History
- 2 Colors and badge
- 3 Stadium
- 4 Club culture
- 5 Ownership
- 6 Broadcasting
- 7 Players
- 8 Team management
- 9 Honors
- 10 Record
- 11 Footnotes
- 12 References
- 13 External links
- For the current season see 2013 D.C. United season
Prior to the 1994 FIFA World Cup, the United States Soccer Federation fulfilled promises to FIFA by aiding in the foundation of a new professional league. On June 15, 1994, Major League Soccer selected Washington, D.C. out of twenty-two applicants to host one of the first seven teams, with three more added before the league's launch. Like many team names in MLS, the team's name was chosen as a reflection of the names of European clubs, such as Leeds United.
On April 6, 1996, D.C. United played in the league's inaugural match against the San Jose Clash in Spartan Stadium in San Jose, California. In the league's early years, D.C. was the most successful of all the teams. Bruce Arena, the club's first coach, led the team to the first "double" in modern U.S. soccer history in 1996, beating the Los Angeles Galaxy to take the first MLS Cup and the USL First Division club the Rochester Raging Rhinos to win the U.S. Open Cup. D.C. repeated its MLS Cup victory in 1997 against the Colorado Rapids, with the match hosted at RFK Stadium. The team also saw early successes in CONCACAF competitions, winning both the Champions' Cup and the Interamerican Cup in 1998.
In October 1998, Arena left the team to direct the U.S. men's national team. Arena's departure marked the beginning of a downturn in the team's fortunes. While the club again won the MLS Cup in 1999 under coach Thomas Rongen, lackluster results in 2000 and 2001 led to Rongen's departure and his replacement by Ray Hudson in 2002. The team did not, however, fare much better under Hudson, and Piotr Nowak replaced him before the start of the 2004 season. The club's first season under Nowak was marred by injuries in the early going, and some players were known to have complained about Nowak's methods. Nevertheless a strong finish, assisted in large measure by the late-season acquisition of Argentine midfielder Christian Gómez, propelled United into the playoffs as the second seed. There they advanced past the New England Revolution on penalty kicks in what has been called one of the best games in MLS history. United then defeated the Kansas City Wizards to take their fourth MLS Cup. United's attendance record at RFK Stadium is 54,282, in a match against the Tampa Bay Mutiny in 2001.
On November 18, 2003, MLS made sports history by signing Freddy Adu, a 14-year-old soccer prodigy and on January 16, 2004 he was officially selected by United with the first pick in the 2004 MLS SuperDraft. When Adu entered United's regular-season opener as a second-half substitute on April 3, 2004, he became the youngest player in any professional sport in the United States since 1887. On December 11, 2006, D.C. United traded Adu and goalkeeper Nick Rimando to Real Salt Lake in exchange for a major allocation, goalkeeper Jay Nolly, and future considerations.
In 2005, the club made MLS history by becoming the first United States-based team to participate in Copa Sudamericana, entering in the Round of sixteen. Since 2006, United has played well against international competition, beating Scottish champions Celtic F.C. and drawing Real Madrid in Seattle. In addition, the 2006 MLS All-Star Team, which included eight United players and was managed by United's manager Piotr Nowak, defeated English champions Chelsea. In 2006 and 2007, United became the first club in league history to win the MLS Supporters' Shield consecutively.
Since their back-to-back Shields, the club went on a five-year drought of failing to qualify for the MLS Cup Playoffs. During this stretch, United's lone major title came in 2008, by winning U.S. Open Cup. In league play during the 2008 and 2009 campaigns, United suffered dry spells at the tail-end of the season, ultimately causing them to miss out on the playoffs. 2010, was otherwise an absymal campaign, winning six matches, drawing four and losing 20, marking their worst record in history. In 2011, United for a record-breaking fourth year, failed to qualify for the playoffs in the second to last week of the campaign. In 2012, United returned to the playoffs for the first time in five years, clinching a berth in the second-to-last week of the season. D.C. United tallied a total of 3 wins for the 2013 season, setting a record for fewest wins in league history.
Colors and badge
The team's colors and original logo were announced on October 17, 1995 along with those of the other ten original teams during a presentation in New York City. Black and white are D.C. United's primary colors, though the team's nickname is the "Black-and-Red." Red is used to accent the home jersey while white is the main color of the team's away kit. The three stripes along the shoulder – in white at home and black on the road – do not represent the three jurisdictions of the Washington Metropolitan Area (Washington, D.C., Maryland, and Virginia); rather, they represent the fact that the team's kits are made by Adidas. The team's shirt sponsor is German motor company Volkswagen In 2011, the team introduced a predominantly red third kit with black accents to be worn four or more times in the season. The team has also previously used white away uniforms with red stripes. White and red are the colors of the flag of Washington, D.C., and the stripes are also reminiscent of those used on the flag. Goalkeepers usually distinguish themselves with a red or green colored shirt.
The team's original shield was implemented in 1996 consisting of the team's name, D.C. United, above a black Bald Eagle facing right on a red field, clawing three soccer balls overlaid on three white stars. The three stars and balls were intended to represent the region's three jurisdictions. The bird, associated with the federal government based in Washington, D.C., symbolizes many of the attributes of the team, including speed and power. The logo was redesigned before the 1998 season. The current design reoriented the eagle facing left, and removed the three stars below it, whose metaphor was retained by three raised wing feathers. At the center of the eagle is a single gold colored star and soccer ball, which represents the team's victory in Major League Soccer's inaugural cup in 1996. The logo can also be adorned with four silver stars above it, representing the MLS Cups the team has won.
Volkswagen Group of America, the American subsidiary of Volkswagen AG, is the jersey sponsor of D.C. United. Volkswagen agreed to pay over $14 million over five-years, beginning on May 6, 2008, putting the automotive company's logo on the front of the team jersey as well as other details. The deal is the second highest in MLS history. As part of the sponsorship, Volkswagen will provide complimentary parking to the first fifty Volkswagens at every D.C. United home game. Other sponsors include Adidas, GEICO, Verizon Wireless, and Papa John's Pizza.
Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium (RFK) has been home to D.C. United since the club's founding in 1996. RFK was built in 1961 as a dual use baseball and American football stadium. Prior to 1996, it periodically hosted soccer matches, including the 1980 Soccer Bowl, the 1993 Supercoppa Italiana, and five matches during the 1994 FIFA World Cup. When the Washington Nationals baseball team shared the field from 2005 to 2007, there were criticisms regarding problems with the playing surface and even the dimensions of the field. The D.C. United Training Complex is located north of the stadium, and is where the Reserve Division team plays.
Several regional university stadiums have been used by the team for Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup matches, including Klöckner Stadium in Charlottesville, Virginia in 1996, and George Mason Stadium in Fairfax, Virginia in 2010. Similarly, the team has also used the Maryland SoccerPlex in Germantown, Maryland for multiple early-round games in U.S. Open Cup and CONCACAF Champions' Cup since it opened in 2001. Exhibition games have also been played in nearby FedEx Field in Landover, Maryland.
In July 2006, D.C. United proposed building a new stadium along the Anacostia River as part of a redevelopment plan for Anacostia Park. However disputes with the city government about the proposal forced the team to consider other sites. In February 2009, the team announced plans for a new stadium in nearby Prince George's County, Maryland close to FedEx Field. Dubbed the Prince George's County Soccer Stadium, this proposal ran into similar trouble when the County Council voted to send a letter to the Maryland General Assembly opposing the stadium plan. Fear that the lack of a new stadium might cause the team to leave the Washington, D.C. area caused protests on May 9, 2009.
In October 2009, the Baltimore Sun reported that Baltimore mayor Sheila Dixon has asked the Maryland Stadium Authority to explore the possibility of building a 17,000- to 20,000-seat soccer stadium that could serve as D.C. United's permanent home, as well as host concerts, lacrosse games and other events, to woo D.C. United to Baltimore. The proposed stadium complex, according to Dixon's letter, would be part of a "green mixed-use project" with access to light rail, Interstates 95 and 295. A potential location mentioned for the stadium is in the 42-acre (170,000 m2) Westport Waterfront project. A feasibility study has been commissioned by the Maryland Stadium Authority was expected to be released in December 2010. Since then two sites in Washington, D.C. have also been proposed, one near Buzzard Point, and one as part of a redevelopment of Capital City Market.
Supporters & mascot
D.C. United has four major supporters groups; La Barra Brava, the Screaming Eagles, La Norte and the District Ultras. Each group has a designated section of the home stadium. La Barra Brava, Spanish for "The Brave Fans", was founded in 1995 by Latino fans in the Washington, D.C. area, mostly Bolivian immigrants in support of original United players Marco Etcheverry and Jaime Moreno. They seek to bring a South American style to home games. All four clubs host public tailgates before home matches, and are known for singing during games. La Norte, which takes its name from its location on the North side of the stadium, is noted for its streamers, large drum, and harassment of the opposition.
D.C. United's primary rival is the New York Red Bulls. The two teams compete annually for the Atlantic Cup, a competition instituted by the two clubs. The cup is awarded to the team that gets the most points across the teams' meetings throughout the season. D.C. United also has a burgeoning rivalry with the Philadelphia Union as the two teams represent two cities separated by only 120 miles. D.C. United is also unique among MLS teams for its rivalry with the Charleston Battery of the United Soccer Leagues, as they compete every time they face one another for the Coffee Pot Cup, a trophy established by the two sides' supporters.
Billionaire investor George Soros was the primary financial backer and director of Washington Soccer L.P., the group that owned the operating rights to D.C. United when the league was founded in 1995. Kevin Payne, former President of Soccer USA Partners and current CEO of D.C. United, was instrumental in organizing this ownership group. By 1998 the group was looking for new investors, and on February 15, 2001, it agreed to sell the team to Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG), founded by Colorado billionaire Philip Anschutz, with AEG exercising its option to become the sole investor-operator on January 8, 2002. AEG, who also own Major League Soccer's Los Angeles Galaxy and Houston Dynamo, ran the team until 2007. In May 2007, United entered into an initial one-year strategic partnership with Brazilian club Atlético Mineiro. The goal of the partnership is to enhance the sporting and commercial success of the respective clubs by sharing expertise and experience as well as creating new opportunities for the clubs in both areas.
On January 8, 2007, the operating rights to D.C. United were sold to D.C. United Holdings, a newly formed group venture that included real estate developer Victor MacFarlane, founder of MacFarlane Partners, and William H.C. Chang, chairman of Westlake International Group. Other investors included D.C. United president Kevin Payne and Blue Devil Development, headed by former Duke basketball players Brian Davis and Christian Laettner. In April 2009, Victor MacFarlane sold his share of the team to his partner William Chang after two stadium proposals had fallen through. In October 2009, Chang also bought out Davis and Laettner to fully control the team. Chang is also one of the primary investors of Major League Baseball's San Francisco Giants. In July 2012 Erick Thohir and Jason Levien, minority owners of the Philadelphia 76ers National Basketball Association franchise, would join Chang as partners. Thohir and Levin stated their primary goals are to make United a global brand and get a soccer-specific stadium for the club.
Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic has telecast D.C. United matches in the Washington area since 1996, and currently has a deal to do so until 2016. Under the terms of the most recent contract signed during the 2013 season, CSN is obligated to show 16 matches per season and may elect to pick up more.  Dave Johnson handles play by play, and former United player John Harkes does color commentary. Color commentary was historically provided by Thomas Rongen, Gordon Bradley, Clint Peay, and Garth Lagerway.
All matches (including those not televised) are broadcast via radio on WILC in Spanish as well as on the Internet. Óscar Burgos does play-by-play while Joel Navas and Milton Renderos handle color analysis.
- For details on former players, see All-time D.C. United roster. For player records, including player awards, see List of D.C. United records and statistics.
First team roster
As of December 17, 2013.
|Front Office and Ownership|
|Chief Operating Officer/Chief Financial Officer||Michael Williamson|
|Chief Marketing Officer||Doug Hicks|
|Vice President, Business Development and Partnerships||Mike Schoenbrun|
|General Manager||Dave Kasper|
|Head Coach||Ben Olsen|
|Asst. Coach||Chad Ashton|
|Asst. Coach||Preston Burpo|
|Team Administrator||Francisco Tobar|
|Head Athletic Trainer||Brian Goodstein|
|Asst. Athletic Trainer / Asst. Strength Coach||Brian Gerlach|
|Physical Preparation Coach||Adam Rotchstein|
|Head Team Physician||Dr. James Gilbert|
|Physical Therapist||Gabriel Manoel|
|Massage Therapist||Sioux Barry|
|Equipment Manager||David Brauzer|
|Asst. Equipment Manager||Dan Deming|
|Team Operations Coordinator||Azhar Zaky|
Last updated: April 22, 2013
Source: D.C. United Official Website
Head coaching history
|1996–98||Arena, BruceBruce Arena||USA|
|1999–01||Rongen, ThomasThomas Rongen||Netherlands|
|2002–03||Hudson, RayRay Hudson||England|
|2004–06||Nowak, PiotrPiotr Nowak||Poland|
|2006–09||Soehn, TomTom Soehn||USA|
|2010||Onalfo, CurtCurt Onalfo||USA|
|2010–||Olsen, BenBen Olsen||USA|
- MLS Cup
- Winners (4): 1996, 1997, 1999, 2004
- Runners-up (1): 1998
- Supporters' Shield
- Winners (4): 1997, 1999, 2006, 2007
- Runners-up (1): 1998
- MLS Eastern Conference
- Winners (Regular Season) (5): 1997, 1998, 1999, 2006, 2007
- Winners (Playoff) (5): 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2004
- Minor Cups
- Atlantic Cup (8): 2002, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2012
- Carolina Challenge Cup (3): 2010, 2011, 2012
- CONCACAF Giants Cup
- Runners-up (1): 2001
- Games: Jaime Moreno (329)
- Goals: Jaime Moreno (131)
- Assists: Jaime Moreno (102)
- Minutes: Jaime Moreno (24,372)
- Shots: Jaime Moreno (660)
- Shots on Goal: Jaime Moreno (380)
- Game-Winning Goals: Jaime Moreno (26)
- Penalty-Kick Goals: Jaime Moreno (42)
- Multi-Goal Games: Jaime Moreno (17)
- Hat Tricks: Raúl Díaz Arce/ Dwayne De Rosario (2)
- Shutouts: Nick Rimando (29)
- Saves: Nick Rimando (355)
- Wins: Nick Rimando (41)
No active D.C. United players hold team records. Last Updated October 24, 2009
- All-Time regular season record: 229–203–94 = 52.5 win % (Through 2012 season)
MLS Best XI
- Marco Etcheverry: (1996), (1997), (1998), (1999)
- Jeff Agoos: (1997), (1999)
- Eddie Pope: (1997), (1998)
- Jaime Moreno: (1997), (1999), (2004), (2005), (2006)
- Ryan Nelsen: (2003), (2004)
- Christian Gómez: (2005), (2006), (2007)
- Troy Perkins: (2006)
- Bobby Boswell: (2006)
- Ben Olsen: (2007)
- Luciano Emilio: (2007)
- Dwayne De Rosario: (2011)
- Chris Pontius: (2012)
- Most Valuable Player: Marco Etcheverry (1998), Christian Gomez (2006), Luciano Emilio (2007), Dwayne De Rosario (2011)
- Coach of the Year: Bruce Arena (1997)
- Defender of the Year: Eddie Pope (1997), Bobby Boswell (2006)
- Goalkeeper of the Year: Troy Perkins (2006)
- Golden Boot: Jaime Moreno (1997), Luciano Emilio (2007), Dwayne De Rosario (2011)
- Newcomer of the Year: Luciano Emilio (2007)
- Rookie of the Year: Ben Olsen (1998), Andy Najar (2010)
|2009||Clyde Simms||United States|
|2011||Dwayne De Rosario||Canada|
|2012||Chris Pontius||United States|
National Soccer Hall of Famers
- John Harkes – (MF), (1996–98), (Inducted 2005), (Player Category)
- Jeff Agoos – (DF), (1996–00), (Inducted 2009), (Player Category)
- Bruce Arena – (Coach), (1996–98), (Inducted 2010), (Builder Category)
- Eddie Pope – (DF), (1996-02), (Inducted 2011), (Player Category)
- Earnie Stewart – (MF), (2003–04), (Inducted 2011), (Player Category)
Hall of Tradition
In 2003, D.C. United introduced the "Hall of Tradition" (formerly "Tradition of Excellence"), an honor bestowed upon players, coaches & front office staff deemed by United to have been crucial to the team's success.
- John Harkes – (MF), (1996–98), (Inducted May 14, 2003)
- Marco Etcheverry, (MF), (1996–03), (Inducted October 20, 2007)
- Betty D'Anjolell (Executive), (1995–98), (Inducted June 29, 2008)
- Jeff Agoos – (DF), (1996–00), (Inducted October 16, 2008)
- Raúl Díaz Arce (FW), (1996–97), (2000), (Inducted September 2, 2009)
- Danilo Noel Dirón – (Broadcaster), (1997–08), (Inducted September 2, 2009)
- Eddie Pope – (DF), (1996–02), (Inducted July 18, 2010)
- Richie Williams – (MF), (1996–00, 2002), (Inducted October 15, 2011)
- Ben Olsen – (MF), (1998–09), (Inducted September 15, 2012)
- 19,647 for MLS matches.
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