09 Mar 2012

Things We Take For Granted: D.C. United in our backyard (for now)

D.C. united open their season on Saturday against Kansas City at RFK Stadium. Photo courtesy Tim Ebner.

Last week’s football news involving Dan Snyder’s Washington Redskins and Reservation 13, overshadowed another bit of football fútbol news: D.C. United is starting its season off on the right foot by winning games.

The team took home two wins and the Carolina Challenge Cup last week, but many fans are worried about seasons to come — wondering if the team will have a permanent home in Washington.

It’s possible that you are like me, guilty of living close to the stadium, but only able to make it to a few games.

Yes, the stadium is just a short walk, but baseball might take precedent over soccer, and more recently, it’s been tough to be a United fan — the team’s last playoff bid was more than four years ago.

However, predictions for this season are looking up. The team has a mix of strong recruiting and rookie players fulfilling larger roles. Plus, D.C. United has a veteran teammate turned head coach, Ben Olsen, who still takes time to scrimmage with the team.

Click on the jump to see photos from the team’s Thursday morning practice.

While things may be improving this season, future seasons at RFK stadium are still in jeopardy.

For months, D.C. United and city leaders have been working to hammer out a lease agreement and incentives that would keep the team at RFK and effectively buy time for both sides to figure out a plan for a new stadium.

Let’s face it, RFK is not in the greatest shape, and the behemoth stadium does not make for the most fan-friendly experiences.  But, if D.C. United needs to move, does it have to be in Maryland? Major League Soccer is starting to think so.

Baltimore would like to lure the team north. A feasibility study, conducted by the city, estimates that more than a half-million fans and $65-78 million in revenue could be generated annually from a move up I-95.

Support for the team is key if they are to stay in Washington, said Councilmember Tommy Wells.  He co-sponsored a resolution, passed Tuesday, calling on Mayor Vince Gray and his administration to do more.

“We want [D.C United] here. We are willing to do what it takes to keep them here, and we want the administration to work with the team. The passage of the resolution is clear direction for the administration,” he said.

While many big questions still loom for Major League Soccer in Washington, maybe this season will be the season you start taking advantage of soccer in your backyard. Who knows how long it will last.

The Hill is Home caught up with the team on Thursday at RFK Stadium for a preseason practice. Check out the slideshow images below:

D.C. United plays Sporting Kansas City in their season home opener on Saturday at 7:30 PM. Tickets are still available.


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  • From the start Tommy Wells championed our cause back in November.

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    • If Tommy Wells is championing our cause then it’s a new thing, because he sure didn’t a couple of years ago.

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