Wayne Rooney, a new home and renewed belief: inside D.C. United’s remarkable turnaround

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In 2017, D.C. United finished last in the Eastern Conference, seven points behind 10th-place Orlando City and a distant 18 points out of the playoffs. The team’s minus-29 goal differential led the league as United earned just 0.94 points per game.

It seemed to represent rock bottom for one of Major League Soccer’s founding franchises, but at the beginning of 2018, someone threw the club a shovel.cheap nike nfl jerseys paypal

Through the season’s first 17 games, United posted just three wins and five draws to go along with nine losses. Fourteen points from 17 games, or a dismal 0.82 points per game. Simply put, the team wasn’t good enough.4

“What was lacking throughout that was killer instinct,” head coach Ben Olsen told ESPN FC. “Seeing out games on the offensive end and in transition or being able to grind out the last 15 minutes of matches. Understanding the big moments of the game that mattered. We failed consistently in those moments.”

But the thing about digging yourself into a hole is that sometimes you can do something great with all that dirt. You can be building something, even if no one is watching. United were.nike nfl jerseys wholesale cheap

“Even during that time when we were not getting the results that we wanted, we saw a lot of good, not only in the individuals we had on the team but also how we were playing and in our ability to manufacture goals,” Olsen said.

Center back Steven Birnbaum agreed with his manager. “Toward the end of our road stretch, there was a bit more confidence,” he said. “We started to jell. We had a lot of new players and it took time for us to get to know one another.”