D.C. United, Revs start season off with new faces at the helm

League: MLS

Posted on: 23 Feb, 2024 at 11:54 PM

Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The New England Revolution's Caleb Porter and D.C. United's Troy Lesesne will both make their club MLS managerial debuts in Saturday night's season opener in Washington.

Porter -- who won MLS Cups with Portland in 2015 and Columbus in 2020 -- already has one match under his belt, a composed 1-0 victory at Panama's CA Independiente in Leg 1 of the CONCACAF Champions Cup first round on Wednesday.

Tomas Chancalay scored the winner in the 54th minute, on an assist from Giacomo Vrioni as Porter fielded a strong lineup, a choice that could play into his squad choices Saturday.

"We know it won't be easy," Porter said." D.C. didn't have a midweek game, so they'll be fresher than us. But I like our group's mentality. I think we're fit now, and I think we have guys (who) can keep playing. For sure, we'll look at some rotation and where guys are at physically. But we're looking forward to that league game."

Porter inherits a Revolution squad that was near the top of the Eastern Conference last season before an investigation into workplace conduct led to the eventual resignation of head coach Bruce Arena. They still finished fifth in the East under two interim coaches despite winning only three of their last 11 following Arena's removal.

D.C. failed to make the playoffs for a fourth straight season in their lone full season under former manager Wayne Rooney. In the winter, the team brought in new general manager Ally Mackay, who then hired Lesesne.

As interim New York Red Bulls manager following Gerhard Struber's dismissal, Lesesne righted the ship enough to guide the Red Bulls to a 14th consecutive postseason.

And while he probably faces a more difficult immediate challenge than Porter, his new team returns both its leading scorer (Christian Benteke, 14 goals) and leading provider (Mateusz Klich, nine assists).

"I would say that we are still in that building process, and it's going to take a little bit of time to get things in the place that we want them to be in," Lesesne said. "But I'm hoping we take a really positive first step and a really important first step against New England this weekend."

--Field Level Media