DC United have appointed Troy Lesesne to lead the team as their new head coach, replacing former boss Wayne Rooney.
Lesesne will take the touchline for the Black and Red after serving as interim boss of New York Red Bulls following Gerhard Struber’s dismissal in earl May of 2023. When Lesesne took over, New York were bottom of the Eastern Conference table and all hope looked lost for the rest of the regular season.
Lesesne has been appointed as Black and Red boss through the 2026 campaign.
But then Lesesne worked his magic, propelling Red Bulls to an eighth place finish with 43 points, which was good enough to seal their 14th straight postseason appearance — a record for a North American professional sports team. Red Bulls dismantled Charlotte FC in the Wild Card round 5-2, but were swept by 2023 Supporters’ Shield winners FC Cincinnati in the first round.
“We were thoroughly impressed with Troy during the course of the interview process,” DC general manager and chief soccer officer Ally Mackay said in a release. “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.”
Even though New York didn’t go that far in MLS Cup playoffs, Lesesne proved that he was capable of guiding a team to the playoffs after such a dire start to the season that included four wins out of their last five games of the regular season against the likes of FC Cincinnati and Nashville SC on Decision Day.
“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.
“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.”
Lesesne compiled a 15W-4D-13L in 32 games in charge of the Red Bulls in all competitions, but the club chose not to renew his contract instead chose to go with Sandro Schwarz as their newest head coach.
The 40-year-old got his first head coaching job with New Mexico United in the USL, a position he held from August 2018 – November 2021 before joining New York as an assistant in 2022.
Lesesne will hope to lead DC to better fortunes than the past season-and-a-half when Rooney was appointed in July 2022, as the Manchester United legend brought improvement to the Black and Red but was unable to guide them to the postseason in 2022 and 2023.