Loudoun United FC have announced that former D.C. United midfielder and three-time MLS Cup winner, Richie Williams, will be the first head coach in club history in their inaugural season in the United Soccer League (USL) Championship. Williams will work directly with Dave Kasper (D.C. United General Manager and VP of Soccer Operations), Ben Olsen (D.C. United Head Coach) and Dane Murphy (Loudoun United FC Technical Director).
“I’m honored to be named the first head coach in Loudoun United FC history and I'm looking forward to getting to work immediately,” Richie Williams, Loudoun United FC Head Coach, said. "I have a long history with D.C. United and spoke with Dave Kasper who is equally as excited about the Loudoun United project. We have a new opportunity to develop players, identify prospects in an area that's rich with soccer talent while also competing at a high level in the USL Championship. We have been working hard behind the scenes to build our roster for 2019 and we've got some work to do before our March 9 USL opener against Nashville. I'm looking forward to the challenge and can't wait to get to know the Loudoun United fans."
Williams started his coaching career as an assistant coach for his alma mater, the University of Virginia in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) at the collegiate level following his retirement as a professional player in 2005. The next year, he transitioned back into Major League Soccer after being named the New York/New Jersey MetroStars assistant coach in 2006. He was named interim head coach in 2008 and was in charge of the newly branded New York Red Bulls for eight matches between June 2006 and August 2006. Williams would take the helm as interim head coach again in 2009 following the departure of Juan Carlos Osorio.
In 2011, Williams was hired as head coach of the U.S. U-18 Men’s National Team and transitioned over to work with the U-17’s at the national level months later. Williams left the USMNT setup following the 2015 FIFA U-17 World Cup and re-joined Major League Soccer as Real Salt Lake’s assistant coach on Dec. 28, 2015.
"We are excited to secure a head coach with Richie's level of quality and experience,” Dane Murphy, Loudoun United FC Technical Director, said. "He was a leader as a player for D.C. United in the early years of the club and we hope he can establish the same winning traditions with Loudoun United FC. He has worked with the U.S. Men's National Team and has a thorough understanding of how MLS and the USL operate. We're looking forward to sitting down and continuing to prepare for an exciting inaugural season for Loudoun United FC."
Williams was also a member of the inaugural Black-and-Red roster in 1996. The tough-tackling midfielder made 191 MLS appearances for the Black-and-Red from 1996 to 2002, winning eight trophies including three MLS Cups (’96, ’97, 99’), two MLS Supporters’ Shields (’97, ’99), a CONCACAF Champions’ Cup (’98), a Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup (’96) and an InterAmerican Cup (’98). He was inducted into the D.C. United Hall of Tradition on October 15, 2011 for his service to the club.
The midfielder also represented the U.S. Men’s National Team and earned 20 caps for his country from 1998 to 2002. He made his debut for the USMNT on Nov. 6, 1998 in a 0-0 draw with Australia in an International Friendly.