Official: DC United name Hernan Losada head coach

Hernan Losada - general - primary image for announcement

Hernan Losada has been named D.C. United head coach, the club announced Monday, ending a more than three-month search which reportedly included more than 25 candidates.

The 38-year-old Argentine, who joins from Belgium First Division club Beerschot, is the youngest active MLS head coach. D.C. United will file for Losada’s P-1 Visa and his coaching staff will be announced at a later date.

“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,” D.C. United general manager and vice president of soccer operations Dave Kasper said in a club statement. “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.”

Losada began his coaching career as Beerschot assistant in 2018 and served as the U-21 head coach before becoming the first team head coach in Oct. 2019, helping the club gain promotion to the Belgium top flight.

In his first full season in charge, Losada navigated Beerschot to an impressive start, which included a stint at the top of the table late in 2020. Through 21 matches, Beerschot sit in 10th place, have scored the third-most goals in the league (41), and are 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,” Losada said. “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 spent much of his 15-year playing career in Belgium as an attacking midfielder, including 178 appearances in three stints for Beerschot, captaining the squad prior to his retirement in 2018.

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

Losada is the eighth head coach in the MLS original club’s history after Ben Olsen’s departure on Oct. 8. He is the first hired from overseas without U.S. or MLS connections.