D.C. United has announced that the club and Dave Kasper have agreed on a multi-year contract extension in which Kasper will assume the title of Vice President of Soccer Operations in addition to General Manager. Per club policy the terms of the extension were not released. Kasper was a critical leader in the biggest single-season turnaround in Major League Soccer history in 2014, as the Black-and-Red finished atop the Eastern Conference for the first time since 2007.
“Dave Kasper has demonstrated expertise building a deep and talented roster,” said D.C. United Managing General Partner Jason Levien. “His strong knowledge of the player market combined with the professional soccer operations culture he has helped to build has D.C. United well-positioned for future success. We are very pleased he will remain with the club, and we are deeply appreciative for his leadership."
“I am grateful for the opportunity to continue my work at D.C. United, and I want to thank our ownership group – Jason Levien, Erick Thohir, and Will Chang – for their trust in me,” said Kasper. “These are very exciting times for our club and fans as we enter a new era with a modern stadium on the horizon. I'm ecstatic to continue a strong working relationship with a fantastic young coach in Ben Olsen, with a terrific group of people in our technical staff, academy staff, and in our front office, and with our loyal players who fight for our shirt.”
During Kasper’s 13-year tenure, D.C. United has won five major trophies: the 2004 MLS Cup, two MLS Supporters Shields (2006 and 2007) and two Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cups (2008 and 2013). United also reached the 2009 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup final, has made seven playoff appearances, including three as the first place team in the Eastern Conference. Kasper has managed 16 MLS Best XI selections, including three MLS MVPs: Christian Gomez (2006), Luciano Emilio (2007) and Dwayne De Rosario (2011). He has also had two goalkeepers of the year, Troy Perkins (2006) and Bill Hamid (2014), one defender of the year, Bobby Boswell (2006) and one rookie of the year, Andy Najar (2010). In addition to Najar, four other D.C. United players have been named a rookie of the year finalist in the last six seasons: Chris Pontius (2009), Perry Kitchen (2011), Nick DeLeon (2012) and Steven Birnbaum (2014).
Kasper also has overseen the dramatic growth and success of D.C. United’s youth development efforts, including the D.C. United Academy. He has been largely responsible for one of the strongest academy systems in Major League Soccer, bringing seven local products through the ranks to the First Team: Andy Najar, Bill Hamid, Ethan White, Conor Shanosky, Michael Seaton, Collin Martin and Jalen Robinson. Najar, who played for Honduras at the 2014 FIFA World Cup, was the first Homegrown player to be named MLS Rookie of the Year in 2010 and the first Homegrown player to permanently move to a European side when he was signed by Belgium’s R.S.C. Anderlecht in January 2013. Hamid was the first Homegrown player to be named MLS Goalkeeper of the Year Award in 2014.
Kasper has a wide variety of soccer experience as a player, coach and front office executive. During his playing career, Kasper was a standout forward at the University of Maryland, earning All-ACC honors while also serving as a member of the U-20 U.S. Men’s National Team. He played professionally for the Milwaukee Wave (1989-90) and the Pittsburgh Stingers (1990-94) and transitioned into Duquesne University’s first-ever head coach. Kasper was named general manager of the Pittsburgh Riverhounds in 1998 (USL-1). The following year, Kasper led the organization to the playoffs and to Organization of the Year honors.