United announced on Jan. 18 that Hernán Losada is the new head coach after the Black-and-Red suffered through a dismal Major League Soccer (MLS) campaign last year.

With the hiring, Losada becomes the youngest head coach of an MLS club. He joins the team with experience from Belgian First Division side, Beerschot, where he had served as manager since 2019.

United had a tough go last season (5-12-6), departing from Ben Olsen, who was the longest-tenured head coach in franchise history. Losada will have his work cut out for him heading into the 2021 season, but the front office is pleased with their decision.

“Our process to identify the right individual to lead our club has been extremely thorough, and we’re confident that Hernán is the ideal person and coach to take us forward,” said Dave Kasper, D.C. United General Manager and Vice President of Soccer Operations for D.C. United. “We believe wholeheartedly in Hernán’s approach to the game and his desire to play high-energy soccer with and without the ball. We look forward to getting to work with Hernán to start the 2021 season.”

In his first full season in charge (2018-2019), Losada navigated Beerschot to the top of the table late in 2020 after formerly sitting in 10th place as a cellar dweller. During that span, Beerschot scored the third-most goals in the league (41) and was only one point away from a UEFA Europa League qualification position.

“I’m excited about the opportunity to join D.C. United and to write a new chapter of success with this storied club,” said Losada. “I believe in playing every match to win, and in my opinion, the best way to do this is to create as many scoring chances as possible every time we step onto the field, through high-energy, vertical attacking soccer. I am looking forward to entertaining our fans and competing.”

Losada is no stranger to the pitch as a former attacking midfielder during his 15-year professional playing career, which began in Argentina with Independiente, where he made 50 appearances and scored six goals.

In 2006, Losada played in Europe, where he joined Beerschot and played two seasons for the Belgian club, appearing 51 times and scored 14 goals.

In 2008, he moved to Anderlecht, where he spent the next three seasons before rejoining Beerschot in 2011, where he scored 18 goals in his second stint with the squad.

He then suited up for Lierse, where he netted five goals in 53 appearances captaining the club over the two years but found his scoring stroke again for Beerschot in 2015 until finally retiring in 2018. He was named captain during that time and scored 28 goals.

“Hernán is a strong leader and strategist and an attack-minded coach,” said Jason Levien, Co-Chairman and CEO of D.C. United. “We are confident that our players and community will take quickly to him and will thoroughly enjoy his high-energy, forward-thinking soccer.”

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WI Guest Author

This correspondent is a guest contributor to The Washington Informer.

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