(DC United Twitter)
Welcome to the first Season Preview of the 2023 MLS season! We are starting off this journey on the worst team in the league last season, DC United. There's a lot of fresh faces in the club for both the locker room and the front office. For those of you who are new to MLS Now's work, thanks for reading today and check out all of what our podcast and blog site has to offer. Let's get into it below.
Record: 7-6-21 (27 points/14th in East)
Team Leaders Goals: Taxiarchis Fountas (12), Ola Kamara (9), Michael Estrada (4)
Team Leaders Assists: Julian Gressel (7), Chris Durkin (6), Michael Estrada (4)
Manager: Wayne Rooney (2nd season)
Additions: CM Mateusz Klich (free from Leeds United/32 years old), RB Ruan (traded from Orlando City SC/27 years old), GK Tyler Miller (free from Minnesota United/29 years old), LW/LB Pedro Santos (free from Columbus Crew/34 years old), LB Mohanad Jeahze ($870k from Hammarby IF/25 years old), Alex Bono (free from Toronto FC/28 years old), CB Derrick Williams ($180k General Allocation Money from LA Galaxy/30 years old)
Subtractions: GK Bill Hamid (free agent/32 years old), CF Ola Kamara (free agent/33 years old), LB Brad Smith (free to Houston Dynamo/28 years old), CM Sofiane Djeffal (MLS Re-Entry Draft to Austin FC/23 years old), GK David Ochoa (free to San Luis/21 years old), CB Tony Alfaro (free to NYCFC/29 years old), GK Rafael Romo (free to Universidad Catolica/32 years old), RB Chris Odoi-Atsem (free agent/27 years old), LB Sami Guediri (free agent/25 years old), CM Drew Skundrich (free to Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC/27 years old), CF Kimarni Smith (free to San Antonio FC/24 years old), CF Adrien Perez (free agent/27 years old), GK Jon Kempkin (free agent/29 years old)
Designated Players: CM Mateusz Klich, CF Christian Benteke, CF Taxiarchis Fountas
The wooden spoon winner last season has seen a lot of turnover this offseason, which was absolutely needed for this club. There are a lot of questions for what formation Rooney is going to script for the beginning of the season, but this was my best guess (it will definitely be wrong). You can substitute Brendan Hines-Ike or Derrick Williams for Donovan Pines, Tyler Miller and Alex Bono are going to be competing, and the wings/midfielder spots are questionable. My guess is they try to get both Jeahze and Santos on the field, allow Morrison to pinch in and Ruan to explode forward on the right flank. Taxi will sit back as a second-striker and provide playmaking with Klich. In all honesty, this roster on paper is looking like one of the weakest again this season. I just can't see this group being able to compete for the playoffs... a lot of turnover takes some time to see the big picture. Sometimes it takes just a couple players to elevate the rest of the team, though.
Thanks for viewing our first 2023 season preview. There will be a new one out about every single day leading up to MLS kickoff. If you are a passionate fan looking to write about your club, we are actively seeking contributors for MLS clubs this season. If interested, message us on either Twitter or Instagram @MLSNowPodcast. We want to provide an outlet for fans to discuss their club on the site and also guest star on the podcast throughout the season.