One of the professional clubs playing in the Major League Soccer (MLS), the top level of professional American soccer, is D.C. United. The club based in Washington, D.C. competes as a member of the Eastern Conference in the MLS.
The club which was founded in 1996, began to play in the American Soccer League the same year as one of the ten charter clubs of the league. D.C. United recorded success in the early years of MLS by being one of the most successful clubs. The club won eight of its thirteen titles between 1996 and 1998 under former head coach Bruce Arena.
The team derived its name from its consortium owner D.C. United Holdings. The team’s head coach is former long-time starting midfielder Ben Olsen, who has coached the team since 2010. The club’s official nickname is the “Black-and-Red” and home uniforms are black and white with accents of red. D.C. United’s fan base includes four supporters’ clubs.
The team’s name alludes to the “United” appellation commonly found in the names of soccer teams in the United Kingdom and elsewhere. Wayne Rooney, Jaime Moreno, Marco Etcheverry, and Eddie Pope are among the team’s most successful stars.
The team played its home games from 1996 to 2017 at the 45,596-seat Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium, owned by the District of Columbia. The team moved into the new Audi Field, a soccer-specific stadium with a capacity of 20,000 at Buzzard Point just a few blocks from Nationals Park in July 2018.
MLS DC United Championship record
United holds the joint MLS record for most Supporters’ Shields, has four MLS Cups, and been crowned U.S. Open Cup champions three times. It is also the first club to win both the MLS Supporters’ Shield and MLS Cup consecutively.
On the foreign scene, United has competed in both the CONCACAF Champions League and its predecessor, the CONCACAF Champions’ Cup. The club won the 1998 CONCACAF Champions’ Cup, making them one of only two MLS teams to ever win a CONCACAF tournament. Subsequently, United won the now-defunct Copa Interamericana in 1998 against Vasco da Gama of Brazil. This is the only intercontinental title won by an MLS club.
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.
The club also has a burgeoning rivalry with the Philadelphia Union as the two teams represent two cities separated by only 120 miles. 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.
The highest-paid player in D.C. United is Frederic Brillant. The French defender earns $3,000,000 as a basic salary. Brillant has become a crucial player in DC’s defense and was given a two-year contract extension for his consistency.
DC United player salaries for 2020 as released by the MLS Players Union