Olsen: 2018 was the year DC United got the city interested in soccer again

Audi Field. Wayne Rooney. A playoff team.

The soccer scene in Washington, D.C. has been transformed this year and all you needed as proof was the atmosphere at Thursday’s Eastern Conference Knockout Round match at Audi Field.

“It was the best atmosphere we've had at Audi Field no question,” said head coach Ben Olsen. ”That's part of the disappointment in this whole deal. We don't get to come back and reward them for the support they've given us. I think in the end, they appreciated the effort and it was an appreciation for the last couple months.”

D.C. United lost the match to Columbus Crew SC on penalty kicks, but Olsen believes 2018 will go down as the year that the storied club moved into a new era.

“Listen, it was a helluva run,” Olsen said. “Don't let this [loss] spoil what these guys did to set the right tone and foundation for Audi Field and the next generation of DC United and who we are and what we're about. I'm extremely proud of them for doing that. I think they got this city interested again in soccer and in our team. I very much look forward to getting back here next year and working with this group and continuing playing this type of style with this type of team at Audi Field next year.

“There was a real belief that this was a team and a type of season you could do something very special in,” Olsen said. “When you have that belief and things fall short the way they did tonight it's disappointing. But I'm proud of them.”

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