They’re over a year out from Audi Field being opened, Wayne Rooney has departed to become a player/coach at Derby County and it’s unclear if goalkeeper Bill Hamid will remain on loan FC Midtjylland. There’s also the looming question of whether or not Luciano Acosta will be around, as the Argentine midfielder’s contract is ending after widespread European interest in the past two transfer windows.
The weight of it all isn’t lost on Levien.
“There is pressure on us, certainly,” he said in an interview with Steven Goff of The Washington Post. “We are no longer in the opening act of Audi Field. People are looking to see how D.C. United is going to respond to the second full season in the new stadium, how the team is going to coalesce, and can they take it to the next level?”
The Black-and-Red are also approaching the 10-year mark under head coach Ben Olsen, and are chasing some postseason glory that’s proven elusive. They won the U.S. Open Cup in 2013, but the four-time MLS Cup champions haven’t lifted the Philip F. Anschutz Trophy since 2004.
To change course, they enter a pivotal offseason with some resources to work with. There may not be a like-for-like replacement with Rooney, but the squad will likely receive a boost.
“We plan to invest in the squad,” Levein said. “We have the resources to do it. We’ve been planning for this moment for a long period of time because we’ve known since the summer about Wayne’s departure. Even prior to that, we saw an opportunity to add firepower.”
For more on D.C. United and from Levien, be sure to check out the full story here.