D.C. United season ends with another loss to FC Cincinnati

D.C. United ended a depressing season Sunday with a 5-2 defeat to FC Cincinnati at Audi Field.

It completed with the worst document (7-21-6) amongst MLS’s 28 groups.

With the second-most losses in membership historical past, at the back of the 3-24-7 fiasco in 2013.

With the third-fewest issues (27) in a complete season since its 1996 debut.

With probably the most targets conceded (71) in twelve months.

And with no playoff berth for the 1/3 consecutive season in a league that fingers them out like leaflets.

“Thank God the season’s over,” Coach Wayne Rooney mentioned. “I think it’s a relief for all of us.”

“It’s a big offseason for us,” mentioned Rooney, the previous English famous person — and ex-D.C. striker — who took over the checklist membership in past due July. “If we’re going to compete, if we’re going to be successful, there will have to be big changes, and quite a few of them.”

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Rooney was once the 1/3 guy in fee this yr, following Hernán Losada’s abrupt firing after six video games and Chad Ashton’s meantime place for a number of months.

Rooney and the entrance workplace will try to revive a membership that allowed a minimum of 3 targets 12 occasions and had the worst purpose differential since 2013. It had simply six shutouts and was once blanked 16 occasions.

“We need a restart,” mentioned captain Steven Birnbaum, who was once a part of the final D.C. squad that gained a playoff recreation (in 2015). “It wasn’t good enough today. It hasn’t been good enough all year. Pretty much par for the course.”

It was once over briefly Sunday. Cincinnati scored two times within the first 8 mins en path to a 4-1 halftime lead earlier than an introduced sellout of nineteen,325.

Brazilian ahead Brenner bagged a first-half hat trick and Brandon Vázquez had a purpose and 3 assists for Cincinnati (12-9-13), which clinched its first playoff berth after completing final within the league in each and every of its first 3 years.

Both D.C. targets got here on terrific moves — by means of Ravel Morrison and homegrown attacker Kristian Fletcher, 17, a 2021 Washington Post All-Met Player of the Year from Landon School who grew to become professional this summer season and began for the primary time Sunday. Otherwise, it was once another forgettable time out.

“The goals we conceded — incredible, really. Not just at the professional level — at any level,” Rooney mentioned. “Poor defending, poor decision-making, sloppy.”

Rooney’s postgame message to the gamers?

“I hope you’re fit when you come back for preseason,” he mentioned. “We can’t afford to waste time getting them fit. … If they do the work, they will be ready to go straight into football. If they don’t, it will be difficult for them.”

The listing of roster wishes is lengthy. Rooney mentioned he’ll spend a lot of the offseason at house in England and scout gamers in Europe. He is most probably to have one slot to be had for a high-end designated participant, assuming midfielder Victor Palsson’s contract now not counts in opposition to MLS’s three-DP restrict.

“I’ve learned a lot since I’ve been here,” Rooney mentioned. “It’s my job to push the owners [to sign players], and if we want to be successful, if we want to develop as a team and a club, we have to make sure we make the right decisions. It’s going to be a lot of work, but it needs it.”

Here is what else to learn about United’s loss:

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Bill Hamid, United’s first homegrown signing who spent maximum of his 13 years because the starter, was once venerated at halftime as he and the membership get ready to move their separate techniques.

Hamid, who turns 32 subsequent month, will probably be a loose agent this offseason. He had hand surgical treatment in past due June and, after coming off the damage listing, selected no longer to teach with the group. A circle of relatives sickness and the start of his first kid additionally factored into his absence.

Forward Ola Kamara, who will flip 33 on Saturday, could also be anticipated to leave when his $1.5 million contract expires. He had 35 targets in 85 appearances since arriving in past due 2019.

Among United’s primary offseason duties is signing goalkeeper David Ochoa, a summer season acquisition from Real Salt Lake whose contract expires this iciness. Ochoa, 21, would input subsequent season because the undisputed starter.

“We obviously want him to stay here, but we also have to be, like any club, looking and aware of what players become available,” Rooney mentioned.

It’s unclear whether or not Rafael Romo (13 begins) and Jon Kempin (two) will go back. One goalkeeping slot will probably be stuffed by means of Luis Zamudio, 24, whose contract is being upgraded after one season with second-division Loudoun United.

MLS’s investigation of allegations that United all-star Taxi Fountas directed a racial slur at a Miami participant Sept. 18 stays unresolved. Fountas has remained eligible to play, however since the Greek ahead is dissatisfied about what he has known as false accusations, Rooney allowed him to stay with his circle of relatives in Greece.

“It’s frustrating,” Rooney mentioned. “We’re respecting the league in trying to come to a conclusion on the matter. … It’s strange that it’s taken this long.”

Dave Johnson, United’s first and handiest play-by-play announcer, known as his ultimate recreation over 27 seasons for the native TV broadcast, which is able to now not exist beginning subsequent season. Under a 10-year contract, Apple TV will raise all MLS fits, the usage of plenty of announcers.

Johnson, 58, was once emotional earlier than the fit as he engaged workforce, media contributors and enthusiasts. He may finally end up running for Apple TV or becoming a member of United for radio or virtual programming.

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