Troy Lesesne named DC United head coach

Troy Lesesne - DC United

D.C. United have appointed Troy Lesesne as their next head coach, the club announced Wednesday. He's inked a three-year deal through the 2026 MLS season.

Lesesne, who led the New York Red Bulls during part of the 2023 MLS season, succeeds Wayne Rooney as the Black-and-Red's manager. He also previously led USL Championship side New Mexico United.

"First I want to thank Steve Kaplan, Jason Levien, Ally Mackay, and Caleb Shreve for entrusting me to lead D.C. United into a new chapter," Lesesne said in a release. "This club has been a staple in this league since its inception in 1996. I know how passionate our supporters are and I look forward to connecting with them and delivering the results that they deserve.

"After speaking with Ally and ownership, I am highly optimistic that we have the infrastructure and investment to reach the level that the fans deserve. I know there is a lot of work ahead of us in the next few weeks as we prepare for the 2024 season and I’m looking forward to getting started."

Ultimately replaced by Sandro Schwarz in New York, Lesesne wasn't retained after helping them reach a league-record 14th straight Audi MLS Cup Playoffs. He steered the club to a 15W-13L-9D record across all competitions.

D.C. United, who appointed Mackay as general manager/chief soccer officer in mid-November, are chasing their first postseason appearance since the 2019 campaign. Last year, they finished 12th in the Eastern Conference (40 points; 10W-14L-10D).

"We were thoroughly impressed with Troy during the course of the interview process," Mackay said. "Troy has an impressive pedigree in American soccer and has worked at all levels of the soccer pyramid in this country.

"We believe his high-pressing tactical approach and player-first managerial style make him the best candidate to lead this club in a new and exciting direction and we’re looking forward to welcoming him to the nation’s capital."

Roster-wise, D.C. United have room to sign a Designated Player alongside striker Christian Benteke and midfielder Mateusz Klich. Their squad's undergoing a rebuild of sorts, with nearly 20 players combined coming and going this winter.

Lesesne's first match in charge arrives on Feb. 24, when fellow league originals New England Revolution visit Audi Field (7:30 pm ET | MLS Season Pass).