Known as much for making political and social statements as for its on-field play, DC United is one of the most successful clubs in Major League Soccer, having four MLS titles and two Supporters' Shield to its name. Named after soccer stalwarts Manchester United, DC United is regularly involved in raising social awareness around issues of education, poverty and LGBT rights.
RFK Stadium is considered home-ground for the team, but a new stadium is being built at Buzzard Point, which is expected to be ready by 2018. Fans buying DC United tickets can expect to be taken in by the fervor of the Barra Brava army as it chants Spanish songs to egg on its team.
DC United's history
The club was one of the first to be drafted for the inaugural season of Major League Soccer in 1996. In addition to winning the Supporters' Shield in back-to-back seasons, DC United has regularly performed well against international rivals, beating Celtic F.C. and drawing against Spanish giants Real Madrid.
The club did experience a lean period between 2007 and 2013, when it regularly failed to qualify for the playoffs. DC United made a dramatic comeback in 2014 by winning the Eastern Conference title and qualifying for the Champions League.
DC United's rivalries
New York Red Bulls are the fiercest rivals to DC United, and the genesis of the rivalry goes back to an Eastern Conference game when the latter made a stunning comeback in the 89th minute to clinch the game. Ever since, the rivalry between the two has seen some colorful moments, including trading of star player Jaime Moreno. Moreno was traded to Red Bulls (then MetroStars) in 2003, only to be returned to his home club on account of poor performance. Moreno managed to score just two goals during the entire season. The events led to a lot of speculation about Moreno being a double agent for DC United.
One of the most rankled moments in the two clubs' rivalry dates back to 2006. United striker Eskandarian, after scoring a goal, took a swig of Red Bull and then spit it out, clearly mocking the Red Bulls. He was fined by MLS for the distasteful act. Another notch in the rivalry belt happened in 2014 when Red Bulls won against United in playoffs for the first time.
A rivalry of sorts also exists between Philadelphia Union and DC United, cities located close to each other. The two clubs faced each other for the first time in 2010 and ever since, the matches between the two have seen aggressive tactics and physical altercations.