Although soccer is still considered by many to be a "niche sport" in United States, more Americans are being converted to fans of the glorious game as each year passes. With the birth of Major League Soccer in 1996, the U.S. once again had a top-flight league, allowing soccer-hungry fans across the country to watch the world's most popular sport in their own backyard.
As a charter member of MLS, D.C. United first stepped onto the pitch in 1996, and the team from the Nation's Capital would quickly set the standard for excellence in the league on the field and in the stands. In its short, eight-year history, D.C. United has earned more domestic and international honors than any other American side, done battle against some of the world's most famous clubs and built a fiercely loyal and dedicated fan base that understands and appreciates world-class soccer.
The club's inaugural season in 1996 would prove to be a fruitful one for the "Black-and-Red." After a slow start in league play, United found the right balance and went into the postseason as the team to beat. However, they proved to be the team that no one could beat, defeating the Los Angeles Galaxy 3-2 on a 'golden goal' header by defender Eddie Pope in overtime to capture the first MLS Cup title on October 20. One title wasn't enough for the Black-and-Red that fall, as three days later United would blank the Rochester Rhinos of the A-League 3-0 to win the U.S. Open Cup , the country's oldest soccer tournament. The Black-and-Red became the first club to capture America's version of the "double".
Information on this page provided courtesy of http://dcunited.mlsnet.com/MLS/dcu/about/