D.C. United

D.C. United explains decision to dismiss Hernan Losada

Lizzy Becherano
D.C. United parted ways with Hernan Losada earlier this week.
D.C. United parted ways with Hernan Losada earlier this week. / BSR Agency/GettyImages

D.C. United parted ways with head coach Hernan Losada earlier this week, culminating his 2022 Major League Soccer season after only six games. 

The historic side had spiraled to last place on the Eastern Conference table, managing only six points in six games with a record of 2-0-4.

“This isn't a decision we take lightly. It's not a decision that we made overnight,” general manager and head of technical recruitment and analysis Lucy Rushton told MLSsoccer.com on Thursday. 

“It's something we've been talking about and discussing for a little period, and it ultimately came to it where it was that we felt was the right time to make the change. We have a very good group of players. And I think we haven't been getting the best out of them. And I don't think performances have reflected the roster that we have.

“So I do think that we have a team that should be competing, at least in the top half of the Eastern Conference and pushing for playoffs and pushing for the top positions in the league. We should not be where we are in the league with the roster we have.”

After his departure, players hinted Losada may have caused problems behind the scenes. While denying on Thursday that D.C. United athletes objected to Losada’s strict regimens, Julian Gressel did go on the record to say it was not an optimal environment. 

“It wasn't easy at times and it was very demanding. So bringing the joy back and maybe loosening some of those restrictions will get guys to really enjoy coming to training more and more, and then really being on the same page within the group,” said Gressel on the Zee Soccer podcast that he co-hosts with Chicago’s Fabian Herbers.

“Everybody was brought in and then – I think I've had that in every single locker room that I've been in with a new coach coming in – you’re kind of like, man, alright, let's go guys, we're in this, it's new, it's exciting. And then it over time, maybe it fades a little bit and maybe a coach makes certain decisions that certain players didn't like and all those types of things factor.”

Chad Ashton has since taken over as interim head coach, his second time at the helm after taking over when longtime manager Ben Olsen left the club. With a coaching change and the arrival of new Designated Player Taxi Fountas, the Washington D.C. side can still salvage the season.

The team returns to the pitch on Saturday when hosting the New England Revolution.