D.C. United announced today that the club will launch a D.C. United Under-23 team featuring top collegiate players. Coached by D.C. United legend Jaime Moreno, players will play and learn from one of the most accomplished individuals in MLS history. Moreno will be assisted by Academy coaches Judah Cooks and Nolan Sheldon, along with former United U-20 Head Coach Dafydd Evans.
With a pool of 28 players, the U-23 squad will compete against MLS Reserve sides and select USL Premier Development League organizations throughout the summer season. The U-23 campaign will commence on May 24, with the season finale set for late July.
“We are excited to launch a U-23 team to help bridge the gap that exists between our Youth Academy and first team,” said General Manager Dave Kasper. “This program will provide our Academy graduates a great training environment to help them prepare for their fall college seasons, while also giving us an opportunity to continue to evaluate their progress, as well as to evaluate other college players from programs across the country."
Training sessions will occur three to four times per week, in addition to approximately seven or eight matches during the regular season. U-23 tryouts are by invitation only.
“This will be an important opportunity for our U-23 players to play in competitive games and improve themselves,” said U-23 Head Coach Jaime Moreno. “This is exciting and new for me, I’m going to encourage our kids to get better everyday, and I look forward to the coaching experience.”
Jaime Moreno is the all-time leading goal scorer in Major League Soccer history with 133 tallies. Moreno became the first MLS player to notch 100 goals and 100 assists in a career in 2009. The Bolivian spent 14 seasons with D.C. United and won four MLS Cups and two Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cups.