Where we left off last year
2023 season: 40 points, 12th in the Eastern Conference
Last year didn’t go according to plan for DC United, with a DP leaving during the season after allegations of racism, Wayne Rooney departing as manager, and generally few positive moments. The year wasn’t a total loss, however — DPs Christian Benteke and Mateusz Klich performed at solid levels, while young American attacker Ted Ku-DiPietro enjoyed a breakout season.
Still, the club headed into the offseason with only a little clarity on the field and even less off it.
What changed in the offseason
- Ally Mackay, CSO: This offseason has been filled with much-needed change for DC United. Hired away from his role as the second-in-command in Nashville SC’s front office, Mackay replaces longtime DC chief Dave Kasper and should provide new ideas and energy. It will take time for those two things to penetrate the years of poor planning that have built up around this club, though.
- Troy Lesesne, manager: Fresh off his first MLS managerial gig in charge of the New York Red Bulls after Gerard Struber left in the middle of last season, Lesesne is another young, energetic hire. The 40-year-old has tactical ideas of his own, but will likely bend to Mackay’s long-term vision.
- Aaron Herrera, RB: With Ruan and $500,000 in GAM heading to Montreal, DC snagged themselves one of the better right backs in MLS. Herrera, who can also play as an outside center back, is yet to return to the form he had in 2021 and struggled with an injury last year. He’s still a useful piece for a competitive team.
- Jared Stroud, W: Acquired in a trade along with Lucas Bartlett and a chunk of GAM that sent Chris Durkin to St. Louis, Stroud was a useful piece in Bradley Carnell’s attack last year. The 27-year-old scored five goals and added five assists. He’ll be in line for minutes on the wing in DC.
- Matti Peltola, DM: Coming into the offseason, DC United needed more central midfield depth and they needed another DP. Enter, Peltola. Expectations should be measured for the 21-year-old Finnish international defensive midfielder, though. He’s never played outside his home country and may need time to adjust to the speed of play in MLS. He’s right-footed and has spent time playing at fullback as well.