D.C. United just finished the worst season in MLS history, so—naturally—they’ve decided to fire some people.
In the press office.
Wednesday afternoon, three days after its merciful ending to its 2013 season at RFK Stadium, United canned Communications Manager Sarah Lerner andChief Marketing Officer Doug Hicks. Head Coach Ben Olsen, who guided the team to a record-breaking low of just three wins in a Major League Soccer season, remains in his position.
“Loved my time and the people I got to work with at #dcu,” Lerner tweeted after her firing Wednesday. “Was happy to get to be a part of it, and wishing the club all future success.”
Hicks, who had been with the club since 2000, had been promoted to his position as chief marketing officer after the 2012 season. Lerner, meanwhile, was let go after only one season as communications director and one full year with the organization.
A former Washington Bullets and Capitals front-office employee, Hicks was awarded four league-wide honors over the course of his 13 seasons with D.C. United. In a phone interview two weeks ago, Hicks recognized the need for a serious boost in ticket sales; United, which drew just 13,731 for its season finale Sunday, would ultimately finish with the lowest average attendance in its history.
But while Hicks touted club history and RFK’s atmosphere as major selling points for DCU, the need to win now appeared to overpower those factors when it came to putting fans in the seats.
Following a 2012 season in which United finished as runners-up in the Eastern Conference, the Black and Red won only three games in 2013 to set a new all-time mark for MLS futility.
“It’s not up to me [if I’ll be back next season],” Olsen said after Sunday’s loss. “I’m preparing, doing everything I can to make sure that we’re ready for next year, whether that’s the case or not.”
Photo by Mike Madden