As we are about to go into the new season, “The Black and Red” will be hoping to have a higher finish this year. The possibility of that happening is not that far-off as the club has made several changes over the course of pre-season. Will these changes be enough to see the club do better this term? That will be the question on the lips of many.
However, for this article we will be looking at what to expect for this coming season by reviewing the events of last season, the new stadium, the new signings and pre-season. With these analysis, we should have a clear picture of where D.C United will likely end up in this new season.
Ben Olsen and his men had a season to forget last year. It was the final season the club would play at the Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium, owned by the District of Columbia and they could only manage to finish 11th in the conference and 21st overall. Although they did not qualify for the MLS Cup Playoffs, they were only able to reach the fifth round of the U.S Open Cup and ended up as Runners-up in the Atlantic Cup.
For a club which jointly holds the record for most MLS CUP (5 titles) and Most Supporters Shield (4 shields) alongside LA Galaxy in both competitions, more was expected from them.
The top scorer for “The Black and Red” last term is Luciano Acosta. The 23 year-old Argentine attacking mid-fielder was able to rack home 5 goals in 31 games last season.
THE NEW STADIUM
Since i996 up until 2017, D.C united have played at the Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium. A stadium with the capacity of 45,596 seats. It was in this stadium, D.C United dominated the MLS in the nineties, whereby they won 3 MLS Cups and 2 Supporters Shield between 1996-1999.
Going into the new season, D.C United will have to experience life in a new stadium. The Audi Field, a stadium with the capacity of 20,000 seats. Ben Olsen will be hoping his boys adapt early to this new stadium. The four supporters group of the club will also be hoping the new stadium will bring the club good fortune this term.
With the sale of key player Bill Hamid who has been with the club since 2009, D.C United have been able to make some decent signings during the course of the pre-season. The acquisition of the likes of Ulises Segura, Junior Moreno, Frederic Brillant and Yamil Asad should bring some positivism into the team. There is also the possibility of Deportivo Saprissa left-back Joseph Mora joining before the first game of the season against Orlando City SC.
Key among the new signings is Yamil Asad who was signed on loan from Velez Sarsfield. The 23 year-old attacking midfielder played on loan last season with Atlanta United scoring 7 goals in 32 games. Ben Olsen will be hoping he delivers, by adds goals to his team this season something that affected their performances last term.
D.C united had an excellent pre-season. Since losing their first kick-about to Malmo FF of Sweden 2-1, they went on to win their next three games by beating Philadelphia Union 2-1, Jacksonville Armada 2-1 and Las Vegas Lights 4-2 in Las Vegas.
Last seasons top scorer Luciano Acosta was in top form scoring a total of three goals in the course of those four games and would be looking forward to form a good partnership with new signing Yamil Asad. They were both on the score sheet in the 4-2 away win in Las Vegas.
EXPECTATIONS FOR THE SEASON
Having said all. It is going to be a very big season for the Black-and-Red this season. Ben Olsen’s men have a congested fixture in both the opening stages and closing stages of the season. Hopefully, the new signings can make a huge difference to the team this term.
The first game against Orlando City will prove how strong this team has become. One thing is certain though, they are much stronger in terms of quality and I will be expecting them to finish much higher in the MLS this term.