Sunday, February 9, 2014

DC United

DC United might be the most storied franchise in the MLS, but they haven’t won any trophies since the 2013 US Open Cup. United was still playing at RFK Stadium in 2014, when they made the announcement that they would begin construction on a stadium at Buzzard Point, near Nationals Stadium. They had an awful season in 2013, holding the record for the least wins in a MLS season. DCU rebounded in 2014 after signing a few players like Eddie Johnson, Fabian Espindola, and their draft picks. But the team was still far off from a playoff spot. 

After almost losing crowd favorites Kyle Porter and Chris Pontius, they fired their coach and hired a manager that had been fired 6 games into the La Liga season. The fiery Spanish manager wasn’t messing around, and tried to change the team’s style. He brought in one of his favorite midfielders from his Spanish club as a designated player. He then attempted to make the team play a tiki taka style of offense. Teamed with the arsenal of high draft picks DC gathered over the years, and a few more MLS players added through free agency, the new style of play shocked the MLS. No team had seen anything like it. In their last season at RFK, they won 10 of their first 15, and shot out to first in the east. As the season went on, they were figured out and weren’t as hot as they had been. With such a good start, they earned the 3rd seed in the playoffs. They were ousted in the first round. That next year, they moved into Buzzard Point, rebranded their logos, and continued to try and build upon what they had the previous season. The tiki taka strategy wasn’t as effective, and the team had a slow start. They picked up a player from Spain on loan for the off season trying to get more playing time to get a World Cup bid. With him at attack opened up the offense and DC United was firing on all cylinders again. But he bolted back to Spain at the start of the season, leaving DC United out to dry, and unable to advance upon their 2nd seed in the east. The youth team started to provide players for the senior club, which helped them out on both offense and defense, two places they lacked top talent in. They signed a deal to send their young players to play for the Northern Virginia Cavalry as a feeder team when they finally started playing. The Spanish manager left DC United when given an offer by a Spanish team in the relegation zone in an attempt to keep them up in the top flight. DC United had success with a European coach, so they picked up a coach from Serie A that had been fired around Christmas. But his style was typical Italian, very strong defense play, and very little offensive imagination. He completely dismantled the team that the previous manager had built, and went for a defensive style. This angered the players who thought they had something going for them. The defensive focus helped out in back, but not up front, and DCU scored the 3rd least goals in MLS in 2018. DC United missed the playoffs for 3 more seasons before firing that manager. They brought in a coach from the NASL to help out. He became the face of a franchise for not taking any crap from other teams. The players respect him, and play started to get better, and with the young talent he gave opportunities to, DC United made their first playoff in a long time in 2024. The manager is still there, but DC United is on a downswing talent wise. But their owners are ready to spend some cash to keep them in the top flight. A mid table finish is likely, with the goal being a playoff spot.

I was gonna rebrand this team from day 1. But the first couple of drafts weren’t that good. I was using the current logo too much as a crutch. Then I decided to just go all out. I love the DC flag, so that was the base of the white and red swap on the crest. Then I put the eagle from the current logo in it, with no poorly drawn details from the current. The kits have stripes and stars like the flag, and the rest is pretty similar to their current look.

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