MLS First Kick 2013 Countdown: 14 days - When D.C. United (finally) builds its stadium, how should they use it to honor the club's history?

Larry French

As the 2013 MLS season approaches, we're counting down the days to March 2. Today's subject: D.C. United's eventual stadium and the ways the team can honor its past in its future home.

We know that the front office at D.C. United is bullish on their chances for a stadium deal with the city in the relatively near future. We know that any announcement will probably involve property on Buzzard Point in Southwest Washington. We know that Volkswagen has first dibs on naming rights for any stadium under the terms of their jersey sponsorship.

We also know that D.C. United as an organization is serious about honoring its history, and more so than many MLS clubs, it's got a history truly worth honoring. So how can we bring these two ideas together?

It seems like a no brainer that the Black-and-Red should use the stadium to really bring the "Tradition" off of the back of the jerseys and into the world. The Hall of Tradition is a great initiative United has undertaken for the past several years, but in a new building it should be expanded from banners on a wall into something more like, well, a real Hall where fans can honor the legends of the past.

The single biggest thing I'd like to see happen though, is naming the stands after the great players from United's first era. There are three players in particular who merit this kind of honor, which would last as long as the stadium stands: Jaime Moreno, Marco Etcheverry and Ben Olsen. For all the great players to have worn Black-and-Red, none of them were D.C. United in the way that Benny, El Diablo and Jaime were and are.

How fantastic would it be to hear the supporters' clubs spread across the Moreno End and wrapping around to the Etcheverry Stand? Or to hear an Olsen's Army song emanating from the masses on the Olsen Stand? Very few other American clubs have any players of their quality, longevity and success, and this would honor these individuals and the club's unparalleled MLS success. Think of it as a soccer equivalent of retiring a number or naming a basketball court for a coaching legend. A named stand with meaning to the team inherently has more gravitas and connection to fans than "South End" or another generic name. It's also free and has the added benefit of annoying the fans of teams who hated playing against Etcheverry, Moreno and Olsen.

These are just a couple ideas that the club could use to honor its history in a new stadium, though. Let's hear yours in the comments.

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