DC United starts their 27th and second seasons under Hernan Lasada on Saturday against FC Charlotte FC at Audi Field.
Attack, entertain and win. That’s what DC United head coach Hernan Lasada preached when he arrived a year ago, and the Black and Reds did just that before staying one point away from a place in the playoffs on the last day of the 2021 season.
United, one of the top teams in the Premier League, kicks off their 27th and second seasons with Losada on Saturday against FC Charlotte at Audi Field.
The identity that Losada wanted for the club, which dates back to its early seasons, is in place. Last season, United could have reached the playoffs by drawing in some games rather than winning, but in the quest for goals Lasada set a long-term goal.
The Argentine coach wanted DC United’s way of playing to be clear to fans and opponents, and it didn’t matter if it was at home or away. Because of this, the Black and Reds finished third among the 27 MLS teams with 56 goals in 34 matches.
To play for Lasada and United, you need a certain type of player with an unwavering commitment.
“We have intense training, we play hard, and we play on the front foot, and we need players who are physically able to endure this day after day,” said general manager Lucy Rushton, who is also starting her second season at United. .
“We are looking for players with athleticism, speed, strength, they need to be dynamic and physically strong, but mostly also in terms of character, they need to be willing team players.”
To this end, “United” has hired Ecuadorian striker Michael Estrada from the “Taluki” MX League. He will play in first place in the Losade system 3-4-2-1. The 25-year-old has 17 goals and six assists in 66 games for Taluku, while scoring eight goals and five assists in 28 games for Ecuador.
“He really has the ability to play in the style we want to play,” Rashtan said. “I base it on his mobility, his speed, his agility, his strength and his strong running. But he also has goals, and we feel he can come in and create goals for others. ”
Also in the attack United signed Greek international club Taxiarchis Fontas, but he will not join the club until mid-summer after the end of his contract with the Austrian “Rapid”. The 26-year-old has an impressive 35 goals in 68 club matches.
Ola Kamara, who finished second in the league last season with 19 goals, is back, although he has been the subject of trade rumors. In the meantime. Camara is an attacking option along with Nigel Roberta, who is returning to his second season at United after scoring four goals in 18 games last season.
United hopes that his attitude to the goal will also be caused by Peruvian international football Edison Flores. The 27-year-old has special qualities to incite crime, but his time at United has been inconsistent. Flores arrived in 2020, but his recognition of the new team was thwarted as COVID-19 interrupted the season.
Injuries have been part of Flores ’2021 season and he has scored twice in 16 games, but his recent game for Peru is encouraging. Flores scored two important goals for Peru in the World Cup qualifiers against Ecuador and Colombia. Now Flores has to do for his club what he has done for his country.
Here’s a Peruvian tale of Edison Flores ’goal last night against Colombia, a historic victory in Barranquilla.
That’s what it means to us.
GRAND, @BonattiDi GRAND 🇵🇪 🇵🇪
– Luis Miguel Echegaray (@lmechegaray) January 29, 2022
United will not have Paul Arriol and Kevin Paredes. Arriola, a player of the US men’s national team, has scored 20 goals in 16 assists and 89 games for United, but now plays for Dallas. after off-season trading.
Paredes, who grew up in Northern Virginia and studied at United Academy, has attracted international attention with his one-on-one skills and instincts. Bundesliga Buck Wolfsburg paid $ 7.35 million for the transfer sign Paredes.
United are proud of their player development system, including from United Soccer League Loudoun United. A native of Riverdale, Maryland, Moses Nyman has shown maturity after his 18 years and could become a partner in the important role of central midfielder with Russell Kenuz.
From Clifton, Virginia, 19-year-old Griffin Job will fight more time on the field as one of two players under attack.
Led by Julian Gressel, United must once again be strong on the flanks. On the right, Gressel was a creative force with his precision passes from any distance that finds attacking players in step or perfect for a header.
Gressel gave up 13 assists last season, and United are hoping for such a service from the left with the addition of Brad Smith of the Seattle Sounders.
“As a dynamic team, it gives us so many options,” Rashtan said. “It makes the field big; this makes it wide to create a middle ground for other technical players. In addition, their supplies are the dream of the attackers. “
United cannot succeed with such an emphasis on attack without strength in defense. Bill Hamid is still one of the best goalkeepers in MLS, and before him he has experienced defenders including Stephen Birnbaum, Andy Najar and Brendan Hines-Ike, and academic product and former University of Maryland star Donovan Pines continues to show.
“Our depth and strength in the rear give good attacking players the confidence to play with freedom,” Ashton said. “Knowing that behind them are these players is an important factor in how we want to play, because it ultimately allows us to go and do what we want and it’s play on the front foot.”
Ashton admits that United, she said, is an “outsider” and she’s fine. MLS does not have a dominant team. Few predicted that New England would win the Shield Fans last season, and even fewer predicted that the NYCFC would win the MLS Cup. There have been eight different MLS champions in the last 10 years.
“We have the mentality and the spirit if we want to prove something,” Ashton said. “There are no limits or limits to what we want to achieve as a group, and we are in a league where every year different teams fight to be on top.”
Editor’s Note: Dave Johnson plays English for DC United.