D.C United is a professional American soccer club situated in Washington, D.C. The club joined Major League Soccer (MLS) as one of the ten charter teams of the league. The team plays its home games at the Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium, located in the Anascostia River, owned by the District of Columbia.
Founded in the year 1996, the club was awarded to the city of Washington by Major League Soccer (MLS) in purpose of fulfilling the promise made by the United States Soccer Federation (USSF) to FIFA in the year 1994.
Out of the 22 applicants, the MLS picked Washington, D.C on June 15, 1994 to host one of the first seven teams with three more cities added before its formal launching. The name “D.C United” was inspired from previous European clubs such as Leeds United.
The club officially played its inaugural season on April 6, 1996 against the San Jose Clash, which was held in the Spartan Stadium situated in San Jose, California. Historically, the early years of the D.C United were the most successful among the rest of the MLS clubs.
The original colors of the team’s logo were revealed on October 17, 1995 along with the other MLS teams. The team’s primary colors are black and white despite the fact that the team’s nickname is Black-and-Red.
The first head coach of the club was Bruce Arena, his arrival led the team to its very first “double” success in the history of U.S Modern Soccer by winning against the Los Angeles Galaxy in the first Major League Soccer (MLS) Final Cup and beating the Rochester Raging Rhinos in the 1996 U.S Open Cup.
The following year, D.C United repeated as MLS Cup champions after beating the Colorado Rockies. The Major League Soccer (MLS) Cup was held at the RFK Stadium, dated back in 1997. Aside from their MLS Cup and US Cup victories, the club had also experienced success in the CONCACAF competitions by winning the Champions’ Cup.
The team has had several notable players since its inception in 1996, including Taylor Kemp, Markus Halsti, Sean Franklin, Kofi Opare, Eddie Johnson, Davy Arnaud, Fabian Espindola, Luis Silva, Michael Fartan, Chris Pontius, Nick DeLeon, Steve Birmbaum, Miguel Aguilar and Chris Rolfe.
During the early 2000s, the D.C United had several MVP players, including Jaime Moreno, Christian Gomez, Luciano Emillio, Clyde Simms, Andy Najar, Dwayne De Rosario, Chris Pontius, Perry Kitchen and Fabian Espindola.
One of the reasons why the club has sustained success in Major League Soccer (MLS) was the stable financial support provided by the billionaire investor George Soros, who was also the director of the Washington L.P, the group that owned the full rights of the club in 1995.
The team’s new list of officers had been updated last March 4, 2014. The new ownership has employed a number of staffs, including Tom Hunt (Chief operating officer), Mike Schoenbrun (Chief revenue officer), Troy Scott (senior advisor for operations and stadium development), Dave Kasper (general manager), Ben Olsen (head coach) and Chad Ashton (Assistant coach).