2018 Season Preview: DC United

WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 22: Paul Arriola /

D.C. United startled themselves and their supporters with a losing 2017 season. They missed the post-season for the first time since 2013. Hope glimmered in the final game.

They have a solid defense and a fresh, winning look for the forwards in their 4-3-3 formation. D.C. United looks loaded for a new 2018. And a much improved season.

2017 Recap

The team missed the post-season for the first time in four years. Supporters stayed faithful but reeled at the injuries, struggles and then more injuries.

As the team prepared to move to their new stadium in 2018, the events, including a legends game, that drew one of the largest regular-season crowds for an MLS contest. On the October 22 game against the Red Bulls, the team took a halftime lead before losing in the second half. F Paul Arriola scored his first MLS goal.

So the game that ended a losing season also ended the longest tenure for an MLS team in a stadium at 22 years. Yet it signaled the black-and-red side starting to crawl out of that hole.

Now they showcase a core of new players, and eager ones returning, for their new stadium.

The supporters definitely want to witness that new, winning story for their team.

Record: 9-20-5

Finishing Position: 21st in MLS, 11th in Eastern Conference

Post-season: None

The team presents a challenge to assess during pre-season. They have a new home field. They also have a lot of new players.

D.C. United hasn’t changed their emphasis on chemistry, no matter how rough last season appears. They spent the first pre-season camp ensuring that chemistry works, whether new or returning player. And also ensuring that all who produce win a chance to start.

With that going for them, D.C. United can start a new march to the post-season.

Transfers OUT

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  • F Deshorn Brown (Declined)
  • M Julian Buescher (Declined)
  • D Sean Franklin (Declined)
  • GK Bill Hamid (Out of contract)
  • GK Eric Klenofsky (Declined)
  • D Chris Korb (Declined)
  • M Patrick Nyarko (Out of contract)
  • M Chris Rolfe (Retired)
  • M Lloyd Sam (Declined)
  • M Marcelo Sarvas (Out of contract)
  • M Rob Vincent (Declined)

 Transfers IN

  • M Yamil Asad (Trade with Atlanta)
  • D Frederic Brillant (Trade with NYCFC)
  • D Oniel Fisher (Trade with Seattle)
  • F Darren Mattocks (Trade with Portland)
  • M Junior Moreno (Transfer from Zulia FC)
  • D Chris Odoi-Atsem (Signed after pre-season trial)
  • GK David Ousted (Trade with Vancouver)
  • M Ulises Segura (Transfer from Deportiva Saprissa)

Predicted Starting XI (4-3-3):

Next: Podcast: The New York Soccer Show

2018 Prediction

A club shouldn’t pull a wagonload of starters out of transfers and trades. Maybe they could stop a horrific decline as D.C. United experienced last season. But they surely couldn’t quickly return to a spot just over the post-season line.

This time, D.C. United will pull it off. So start taking notes for your soccer strategy book. And watch F Paul Arriola score some more goals of the week.

Predicted Finishing Position: 6th in Eastern Conference.