It would be hard to compile a list of the brightest stars in Major League Soccer history without including a slew of players from the league’s first flagship franchise.
Major League Soccer released “The 25 Greatest” on Wednesday as part of continued celebrations of the league’s 25th anniversary. It's no surprise that six of the 25 players named to Major League’s Soccer’s most influential players in league history have represented D.C. United.
The league kicked off for the first time on April 6, 1996 when D.C. United visited a sold-out Spartan Stadium to take on the San Jose Clash. That year, D.C. United’s star-studded roster featured four players that made this list.
With defenders Jeff “Goose” Agoos and Eddie Pope anchoring the backline and Marco Etcheverry and Jaime Moreno leading the team from the front, the Black-and-Red captured the inaugural MLS Cup and U.S. Open Cup, achieving the first “double” in modern U.S. Soccer history.
United would go on to play in the next four MLS Cup finals, establishing itself as the league’s first dynasty and solidifying Agoos, Etcheverry, Pope, and Moreno as some of the most decorated players in MLS history.
More contemporary D.C. United alumni included eight-time All-Star goalkeeper Nick Rimando, who helped capture a Supporter’s Shield for D.C. United in 2006, and the 2011 top-scorer and league MVP, Dwayne De Rosario, who lifted United to its third U.S. Open Cup in 2013.
The league brought together nearly 200 MLS experts from across North America to select the 25 players who achieved the most on the field, while also advancing the league off the field to help lay the foundations for the MLS’s next 25 years.