Loudoun United FC has announced former D.C. United midfielder and three-time MLS Cup winner Richie Williams will be the first head coach of the Leesburg-based United Soccer League team.
"I have a long history with D.C. United and spoke with Dave Kasper who is equally as excited about the Loudoun United project," Williams said in a prepared statement. "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."
Williams started his coaching career as an assistant coach for his alma mater, the University of Virginia, 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 took 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 in 2015.
Williams was also a member of the inaugural Black-and-Red roster in 1996. The midfielder made 191 MLS appearances for the Black-and-Red from 1996 to 2002, winning eight trophies, including three MLS Cups (1996, 1997, 1999), two MLS Supporters’ Shields (1997, 1999), a CONCACAF Champions’ Cup (1998), a Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup (1996) and an InterAmerican Cup (1998). He was inducted into the D.C. United Hall of Tradition in October 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.
Williams will work directly with Dane Murphy, who was recently announced the club’s technical director, D.C. United General Manager and VP of Soccer Operations Dave Kasper and D.C. United Head Coach Ben Olsen.
"I started my professional career with D.C. United, and I'm excited to return to the club, its fans and this wonderful city as a part of the technical staff," Murphy said in a prepared statement. "It's a transformative period with the birth of Audi Field, the opening of a new training ground and announcing Loudoun United FC as our USL affiliate. I'm eager to start working to help the club continue on their upward trajectory in 2019."
Murphy, formerly of Real Salt Lake, will assist Kasper with the D.C. United first team in addition to building the roster for Loudoun United.
An introductory press conference will be held Tuesday at 2 p.m. at the National Conference Center in Leesburg. Loudoun United, which is D.C. United’s subsidiary soccer team, is a member of the 40-team United Soccer League Championship.