In what has been a devastating streak after starting the season with two wins, D.C. United will have to find a new leader for its revamped squad after the official dismissal of Hernan Losada, who had been in charge of the four-time league champion since January 2021.
The Argentine was the first non-interim coach in more than a decade for the capital team.
D.C. United’s poor run in MLS
United is now in last place in the Eastern Conference, with only six points from six games played, having conceded eight goals while scoring only seven, making its offensive one of the poorest in the whole North American league. Before getting back to winning ways by defeating Flower City Union 3-0 yesterday in the U.S. Open Cup, Losada had lost four straight league games:
- 3-2 against Austin FC (April 16)
- 1-0 against Atlanta United (April 02)
- 2-1 against Toronto FC (March 19)
- 2-0 against Chicago Fire (March 12)
Their last victory in Major League Soccer came more than a month ago, against Cincinnati FC by a score of 1-0. It should be noted that results were not the main reason for Losada’s departure.
From the beginning of his career, there were reports that indicated the bad relationship Hernan developed not only with several of his players, but also with key figures within the club’s board, such as Dave Kasper (sporting director), Lucy Rushton (general manager) and most notably, the team’s owners. On multiple occasions Losada stated to the media that the borad of directors was against him due to the fact that he seeked an increase in the budget for the staff and the club’s facilities.
In addition, the 39-year-old coach’s extremely physical and intense style of training and approach on the field led to a large number of injuries to the team during the last season, during one of the most crucial stages of the championship, when they were only one point away from qualifying for the playoffs. The Buenos Aires native leaves the club with a record of 16 wins, 19 losses and five draws since 2021.
Acting as interim coach for the foreseeable future will be assistant coach Chad Ashton, who has been on the management staff since 2007 and is also familiar with his role, having taken the same position when D.C. United fired Ben Olsen in the 2020 season. As for future candidates, it is expected that for the rest of the year Ashton will have full responsibility for the team while the board conducts a more detailed search for its next coach.
If the results support the performance of their interim coach, the board could also guarantee him a full-time coaching position. United have names to compete with and it’s still too early in the MLS 2022 journey to rule them out of the race to reach the playoffs, but with their current roster it does seem extremely unlikely that they can be title contenders.