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Onalfo understands 'culture of D.C. United'
Washington Post, December 29th, 2009 1:45PM

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Upon the hiring of Curt Onalfo to replace Tom Soehn as D.C. United head coach after the club missed the playoffs for two straight seasons, club president Kevin Payne said, "Having played and coached here, Curt understands the culture of D.C. United." Onalfo, 40, was a reserve midfielder-defender for United in the late 1990s and served as an assistant for three years before joining the U.S. national team staff. He helped establish United's youth academy.

"I've been part of it and appreciate the expectations and responsibility to win," said Onalfo, who served as Kansas City's head coach for two-and-a-half years. After inheriting a struggling team, he guided the Wizards to the playoffs twice before being dismissed in the middle of last season. He compiled a 27-29-22 record in regular-season play during his tenure.

"I have experience turning around a team that hasn't made the playoffs," he said. "I know how to tweak mentalities and get the most out of players." The Post's Steven Goff reported that the undisclosed terms of his contract are believed to include at least two guaranteed years and a base salary of $200,000. Goff also notes that, "Besides his understanding of United and the Washington area, Onalfo speaks Spanish fluently, a trait not shared by any of his five predecessors. United has traditionally employed players from Latin America, and just last week signed Salvadoran midfielder Cristian Castillo."

 

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