The trophy case is full for D.C. United with 4 MLS Cups, 4 Supporters’ Shields, 3 U.S. Open Cups, a CONCACAF Champions Cup title and a Copa Interamericana title to the club’s name.
As such, there are so many great players to have worn the Black-and-Red over the years and with the sports world on hold, ExtraTime Radio is running through a Mount Rushmore for each MLS team.
It should be no surprise that Marco “El Diablo” Etcheverry is the first name on the list from the ExtraTime Radio crew. One of the all-time MLS greats, Etcheverry was the backbone of the first (and arguably best) dynasty in league history.
Over the course of his eight seasons with the club, El Diablo tallied 34 goals and 101 assists in 191 league appearances. The Bolivian midfielder’s assists rank sixth on the all-time MLS leaderboard and he led the team to three MLS Cups while winning league MVP in 1998. Just five players in MLS history have been named to more MLS Best XI’s with his four straight nods from 1996 to 1999.
Following Etcheverry on D.C. United’s Mount Rushmore is Jaime Moreno, another no-doubt candidate.
He leads the club in games (329), goals (131), assists (102), PK goals (42) and game-winning goals (26). Moreno spent all but one of his 15 MLS seasons rocking the Black-and-Red and was the first player in MLS history to score 100 goals and 100 assists. (Landon Donovan is the only other player in league history to accomplish the feat.) Moreno is as decorated as any player in club history with 12 titles over his 14 seasons with the club and, just like Etcheverry, is one of the very best MLS has ever seen.
The third member of D.C. United’s Mount Rushmore according to the ETR crew is defender Eddie Pope.
Drafted by the team in the first-ever MLS College Draft in 1996, Pope immediately become a mainstay of the backline and earned four nods to the MLS Best XI in his career. Pope scored the winning goal in the 1996 MLS Cup and accomplished the same feat the next year in the Copa Interamericana.
Not only did Pope shine for the Black-and-Red, he also cemented his place in U.S. Soccer history with his performances for the U.S. Men’s National Team.
The fourth spot on D.C. United’s Mount Rushmore was much-debated by the ExtraTime crew with names like Christian Gomez, John Harkes, Raul Diaz Arce, Bill Hamid and others bandied as options. But their fourth spot went to Ben Olsen, who has been a part of the Black-and-Red since his MLS Rookie of the Year-winning season in 1998.
Olsen made 221 appearances over 12 seasons for D.C. United and then became an assistant coach with the club. When Curt Onalfo was fired midway through Olsen’s first year as an assistant coach, he was promoted to interim head coach and has been at the helm of the club for the last 10 seasons. Olsen led D.C. United to the US Open Cup title in 2013 and earned MLS Coach of the Year honors in 2014 when the Black-and-Red went from worst to first to win the Eastern Conference title.