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DC United fires head coach

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Just six games into his second season as head coach of D.C. United, Hernan Losada has been fired, sources confirmed to WTOP.

Assistant Chad Ashton will take over as interim head coach for the second time; he stepped in after Ben Olsen was fired in October 2020.

Losada was in charge of the Black and Red for Tuesday night’s non-Major League Soccer match in Rochester, New York. United advanced in the U.S. Open Cup with a 3-0 win over third-division side Flower City Union, struggling early but breaking through with late goals.

After opening the MLS season with two wins. United is stuck in a four-game losing streak and is in last place in the Eastern Conference. Losada preached an attacking style of soccer, but during its recent skid, finding the back of the net proved difficult for United.

While Ola Kamara scored two goals in the first half of last Saturday’s 3-2 loss to Austin, Losada’s last league match in charge of United went sideways after Kamara was ejected following a second yellow card. Before kickoff, there were indications Losada was searching for solutions with designated players Edison Flores and Michael Estrada on the bench instead of in the starting 11.

Losada joined the team from Belgium, where he gained a reputation for getting teams to overachieve. He guided Beerschot SC from Belgium’s second division to the first. In fact, in the 2020-2021 season, Beerschot spent time in first place in Belgium’s top flight.

He left before that season was over, though; he wanted to come to MLS. With a strong belief in a high press system, Losada talked of wanting to establish a club culture with United.

After a disappointing 2020 campaign, the Black and Red energized their fan base in their first season under Losada with an attractive style of play. United finished tied for third in the 27-team league in scoring and was in playoff contention until the final day of the season, missing out by one point.

With a full off season to get ready for 2022, it was hoped better results would follow. Instead, United is searching for answers and a new head coach.

United is home Saturday against New England. An official announcement from the club about the coaching change is expected after a team meeting Wednesday morning.