What do you call?
The rest of that question is, what do you call a club coming off the worst year statistically in a league’s history, that transfers in many players, is coached by a legend and plays in an ageing stadium? No, not Manchester United going into the 2015 season, I’m talking about DC United of the 2014 Major League Soccer Season. DC United are the iconic club here in the states, they’ve won four MLS Cups (our title match here in the States). Two years ago they made it to the Eastern Conference Finals, before bowing out. Well, then last season they struggled to win a match, finishing with the worst record recorded. And that’s with Chivas USA being run by a club that didn’t care about it’s American Affiliate.
Well, DC United isn’t one for being bad long, in the off season, they remade their team, transferring in talent through the Waiver draft, trades, and transfers. They also have a club legend as their manager in Ben Olsen, as happens a lot over here in the States, the ex-players don’t get the time in the lower leagues to earn their badges and get their feet wet, they’re thrown to the Wolves. Well, not Wolverhampton, but made to learn their trade while keep their job. If Ben Olsen wasn’t a club legend at DC United he would have been gone after last years record for 3 wins, 24 losses, and 7 ties. But they did get some silverware, they won the 100th US Open Cup (our FA Cup).
They also have a connection to Inter Milan, which is another fading giant in the sport. It would seem that if you have a connection to a European Power, that you could be a great side here in the States. However, as we have seen also with the Colorado Rapids connection with sometimes having a connection doesn’t always work.
So far this season, they are 0-1, and they got smashed against a very average club in Columbus Crew. While the experts would say that you have to give a club a while to gel, and to get the communication down, DC United aren’t the club to stay down for long. They’ve fired coaches, released players, and given press conferences for a lot less. But they are always willing to try something new, be the flag waver for the league.
This is the same club that brought us Fredy Adu, and last we heard from him, Fredy’s is with Blackpool. Not exactly the next Pele that he was thought of being. Point being, if it furthers the brand of the DC United club they will do it. They are borderline irrelevant now, and this is what Manchester United is fighting right now. DC are the flagship club of the MLS, and are getting passed by every club right now. While Manchester Untied aren’t the flagship club of England, they’re the club that American’s know, and for them to see their beloved club not doing so well, will turn a bunch of fans off the sport. That’s what these big teams face nowadays, is the thought of losing the bandwagoner fans.
Click on Stephen’s name above to follow him on Twitter