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Soccer MLS

5 Key Players to D.C. United’s 2014 MLS Season

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D.C. United's Key Players for 2014

DC United's Key Players for 2014
Brad Mills - USA TODAY Sports

Following a rough 2013 MLS season, it was evident to D.C. United, and to the rest of the league, that it needed to make some changes. It is usually known as a winning club, but that was definitely not the case last year. Coming in dead last really ruins the image and confidence of a club.

During the offseason, it declined the option of its former captain, Dwayne De Rosario, but it did pick up some talent, which will hopefully be beneficial to the club. It was a tough decision, because De Rosario was usually synonymous with D.C. It was the start of a definite change; the 2014 season brings forth a new chance for D.C. to prove itself.

In 2013, D.C. had a total of three wins. This is the first thing the club is looking to change. Every club is always looking for the best offense to be able to net the most goals, but a good defense is also necessary. D.C. picked up good players in all positions, and hopefully these players will help build chemistry with its current roster — at least those still with the club. There has been some improvement evident in the offseason; even though it hasn't brought the best results, Ben Olsen is happy with its current standings. Hopefully it will improve as the season begins.

This is a new year and a new chapter for D.C. I think D.C. still has a lot to improve on, but these players will now be there to lend a hand. If the old and the new come together to make a new better club for D.C., then it was all worth it in the end.

Jackee Arce is a soccer writer for Follow her on Twitter @knackeredwriter, “like” her on Facebook or add her to your network on Google.

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5. Fabian Espindola

Fabian Espindola
Joshua S. Kelly - USA TODAY Sports

Fabian Espindola's reputation precedes him. He is an Argentine forward who signed with D.C. United for the 2014 season. If he plays as well as is hoped, he will be key in helping D.C. have a good run this season.

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4. Chris Pontius

Chris Pontius
Paul Frederiksen - USA TODAY Sports

Chris Pontius has been with D.C. United since it drafted him in 2009. He is a strong attacking midfielder and will hopefully continue to score goals for the club. If he successfully pairs with Fabian Espindola, this can mean they will be the key to continuing D.C.'s strong offensive side.

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3. Perry Kitchen

Perry Kitchen
Joshua S. Kelly - USA TODAY Sports

Perry Kitchen plays as defensive midfielder for D.C. United. He is only 22 years old, but is a consistent player for the club. He is key in bridging the midfield and defense, helps the club's defensive side and will only get better as his experience on the pitch continues. After a rough season last year, he will need to continue playing more to the defensive side.

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2. Sean Franklin

Sean Franklin
Joshua S. Kelly - USA TODAY Sports

Sean Franklin is another new player for D.C. United. His former club, Los Angeles Galaxy, released him only to avoid salary cap issues. He is a strong defensive player and will be just what D.C. needs to keep opposing offensive players away from the net. Hopefully he will work well with Perry Kitchen to accomplish this.

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1. Eddie Johnson

Eddie Johnson
Steven Bisig - USA TODAY Sports

It seems D.C. United will have a stronger defense this season, and now Eddie Johnson is here to strengthen its offense. The U.S. National Team forward will give D.C. the edge by hopefully continue scoring goals for it as often as he scored for Seattle Sounders.