With the first kick of the 2014 Major League Soccer season still three months away, there are several early favorites starting to emerge. Teams have completed both phases of the re-entry draft process and have only the Super Draft left in the hopes of finding the final pieces to complete their squad. The Seattle Sounders, Toronto F.C. and DC United have all done a stellar job of addressing major problems on their roster and are looking to be the three best teams to knock-off defending champions, Sporting Kansas City.
DC United have done a fantastic job so far of addressing all the needs their team had going into the offseason. With the addition of seven new players like Sean Franklin, Fabian Espindola, Eddie Johnson and Davy Arnaud, DC United have positioned themselves nicely to make a serious run at an MLS Cup Championship. If United are able to pull off such a tremendous feat it would be the second year in a row that a team has gone from bottom of the league one season to top of the table the next. In 2013, the Portland Timbers were able to achieve this incredible feat and shocked the world as they claimed the No. 1 seed in the 2013 MLS Cup playoffs.
Head coach Ben Olsen is well versed in what it takes to win a soccer game, especially with all of his former playing experience. The former DC United midfielder was a part of many of the championship runs during the beginning seasons of the MLS. Although DC finished at the very bottom of the league in 2013, Olsen is confident that with the new group of players his team can make a serious push for glory.
On paper, DC United look like a dominant force on both sides of the ball. Unfortunately for them, games are not won and lost on paper. If the team can put all the pieces together early enough in the upcoming season only then will they be considered for a chance at MLS Cup glory.
With all of the talk surrounding the team, Olsen will need to make sure his players know how much will be expected from them on a daily basis. Often times a team will get hyped up and not perform to the best of their abilities because the players cannot handle the added pressure. Assuming that DC United is able to overcome this feat they have a chance to make history and be remembered forever as one of the best turnaround clubs in Major League Soccer.