This morning, midfielder Dwayne De Rosario became D.C. United’s fourth league-wide MVP in franchise history, and their third in six years. “De Ro” as he’s known to United’s fans, was a shot in the arm for the struggling club when he was acquired from the New York Red Bulls in June, and in 18 games, scored 13 goals and had seven assists. Across three clubs, De Rosario had 16 goals and 12 assists on the season and became the first MVP in North American sports to score with three separate teams in a season.
While some would say that no player that didn’t lead his team to (and perhaps through) the playoffs would deserve that honor, anyone who saw United before De Ro and after, would disagree. De Ro was the field captain that United needed to make a playoff push, and push they did, right up until the end. De Rosario is under contract through the end of next season, though it’s expected they’re rework the deal to keep De Ro well past that mark.
While for most people the arrival of March means looking ahead to whether the Nationals and Orioles will lose 95 or 97 games, for others, it beckons the start of the season for D.C. United, the most successful franchise in Major League Soccer.
Entering their 16th season of play, one of the charter members of the league and four-time MLS champion United have much to look forward to as the 2011 campaign begins on March 19 at RFK Stadium against Columbus. After winning the MLS Supporters’ Shield (given to the team with the best regular season record) in 2006 and 2007, the Black and Red have fallen off the last three seasons, with 10th place finishes in 2008 and 2009, before ultimately bottoming out last year with a 6-20-4 record, settling them firmly in last place.
The excitement for 2011 comes with the first full season under head coach Ben Olsen. After the release of Curt Onalfo as head coach following a 3-12-3 start, Olsen took the reins of United and turned the team around considerably, finishing the season with a still-disappointing 3-8-1 record, but enough of a turnaround was shown that team management felt it appropriate to retain Olsen. Not included in the record was a Cinderella run to the semifinals of the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup, a tournament open to nearly all American professional, semi-professional, and amateur clubs. Olsen, 33, nicknamed “The General”, had an illustrious playing career for D.C., scoring 29 goals in 221 games for the Black and Red, as well as suiting up for the United States national team 37 times, including seeing action in the 2006 World Cup. Continue reading →
For those that don’t follow soccer, it’s hard to put into appropriate terms what Jaime Moreno means to D.C. United and the MLS as a whole. As crucial as Riggins and Sonny Jurgensen are to the Redskins success a generation as ago, Moreno means more than that to United. As important as Ovechkin is to the Caps, or Strasburg to the Nationals, Moreno is all that and more.
Moreno’s contributions to Major League Soccer are on par with Henry “Hammerin’ Hank” Aaron’s to baseball. In his 14-year MLS career, he’s the only member of the 100-goal, 100-assist club, and is tied for the all-time lead for goals with 132. He gets a shot at 133 this Saturday, and we’d like to send you and a friend to go see the game. Leave your name in the comments with a valid email address in the appropriate field and we’ll pick at random on Thursday afternoon.
The team has been celebrating Moreno for the last month, and their archive of coverage is deeply impressive. Moreno has been the constant leading presence for the team from its creation through its four MLS Cup Championships and through the denouement of United over the last two years. In many ways, Jaime Moreno is D.C. United, and it’s hard to picture the state of the franchise without him as part.
The team has a number of events planned for Saturday, culminating with a special honoring of Jaime Moreno by the 2011 Season Ticket Holders with all of the earned trophies during Moreno’s career. Moreno is probably the least-celebrated DC star athlete, which is a shame. Get out to RFK on Saturday afternoon and give Moreno the attention he deserves.
Record: 23-22 Last Two Weeks: 6-8 Place: Tied for Third, Four Games Back
It was back to reality for the Nationals over the last two weeks. Mistakes on the mound, mistakes in the field, mistakes at the plate, and they finished the last two weeks under .500. The Nats played 20 games in 20 days, something they have rarely done in the past, and never this early in the season. They finished 10-10 for that stretch, overcoming a few games that were mired in adversity. With their loss Friday night, the Nationals dropped below the .500 mark for the first time in early April. They didn’t sink into self-pity, they fought off the Orioles for the series win. Continue reading →
Saturday’s matchup against fierce rival New England Revolution marked the home opener for D.C. United. Unfortunately for United, Kenny Mansally decided to personally rain on the opening parade. Last Saturday’s disastrous opener in Kansas City behind them, United came out of the locker room looking like a new club. In the first half, they managed to keep ahead of the usually potent New England offense with some offensive production of their own. Unlike last Saturday, United was able to keep things moving on offense, putting together some possessions that were respectable.
District native Wale will be the entertainment of choice for D.C. United before their home opener this season. Saturday April 3rd, he will be the headliner for the “It Takes More Concert Series,” a series of pre-game performances designed to support local acts and to highlight various organizations in the community. At this game, the team will take on the New England Revolution and the organization to be featured is the DC chapter of Habitat for Humanity.
Wale, who was first featured in the “Unsigned Hype” column of Source magazine in 2005, has recently seen much success with his debut album Attention Deficit (which is a GREAT album by the way!). He’s performed at the VMA’s and toured with Jay-Z, but is bringing it back home for a FREE concert open to the public..you don’t want to miss this one! It’s for a great cause as well. Habitat for Humanity is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing safe shelter for people all around the world, and they’re even going to be building in conjunction with D.C. United and other sponsors later this season.
The concert will start at 6 pm on the Armory Mall located on the west side of RFK Stadium, and the game will begin at 7:30 pm in the stadium.
In a move that surprised just one person, D.C. United “parted ways” with their coach, Tom Soehn, this morning. Officially, Soehn is listed as taking his name out of consideration for coaching duties for the upcoming season, but I think the writing was pretty clearly on the wall that Soehn would not be getting a new contract. The club will search for a new head coach this off-season, hopefully someone who can motivate D.C. United to get beyond their “Draw” problem.