DC United

DC United

DC United

Charter Club
Joined MLS in 1996

MLS Cup: Winners 1996, ‘97, ‘99, ‘04, Runners Up 1998
Supporters’ Shield: Winners 1997, ‘99, ‘06, ‘07, Runners Up 1998
U.S. Open Cup: Winners 1996, ‘08, ‘13, Runners Up 1997, ‘09
Eastern Conference: Winners 1997, ’98, ’99, ’06, ’07, ’14, Runners Up 1996, ’04, ’05, ‘12
CONCACAF Champions League/Cup: Winners 1998, Runners Up ‘01
Copa Interamericana: Winners 1998

DC United was one of the ten charter teams during the 1996 inaugural MLS season. Guided by current U.S. Men’s National Team coach Bruce Arena, the club would start off rather successfully. In the ‘96 season they earned the first double in MLS history by winning both the MLS Cup and the U.S. Open Cup, narrowly missing out on the treble by finishing third in the Supporters’ Shield.

The ‘97 season nearly brought about another double, with the club winning both the MLS Cup and the Supporters’ Shield, finishing runners-up in the Open Cup to once again come short of the treble. The ‘98 season came with a different kind of success, as the club finished first in the Eastern Conference but missed out on the MLS Cup, Open Cup, and Supporters’ Shield. They did, however, win the CONCACAF Champions Cup and the Copa Interamericana that year, becoming the first American club to win a continental club competition. This success had unfortunate repercussions for the club, as Arena was offered and accepted the position as head coach of the USMNT.

Despite a successful ‘99 season without Arena that saw the club win the MLS Cup and Supporters’ Shield, the good results did not last, causing constant managerial changes. Finishing runners-up in the CONCACAF Champions Cup in ‘01 would be the only form of success until ‘04. That season the club won their fourth MLS Cup, finishing second in the Eastern Conference. During the ‘05 season, the club made further MLS history when it became the first U.S. team to participate in the Copa Sudamericana.

The ’06 and ’07 seasons came and went with United becoming the first ever MLS club to win back-to-back Supporters’ shield. Following these two fantastic seasons, the club failed to even qualify for the playoffs for five-straight seasons, only managing a U.S. Open Cup win in ’08. Finally, back in the playoffs in the ’12 season, United finished runners-up in the Eastern Conference. The ’13 season brought back the poor league form, although United sort of made up for their poor showing by winning the U.S. Open Cup. In the ’14 season saw them clench first in the Eastern Conference.

Despite the hope brought about by a mid-table finish in the ’15 and ’16 season, the club have fallen to new lows. This season, despite there being two games left in regular season play DC United are set in stone at the bottom of the Eastern Conference. This has been one of their worst seasons in club history. They’ll be looking to bounce back in the ’18 season, head coach Ben Olson will have to worry about his future after having given many years that have fallen well short of United’s success of the past.

About the Author

Tyler Webster
Site lead/writer for MLSFootball.