The original Washington Diplomats first came into being when, in 1974, the North American Soccer League(NASL) granted a franchise to a Washington, D.C. based business group. The team played their home games atRFK Stadium except for 1976 when they played at W.T. Woodson High School in Northern Virginia. After a lackluster beginning to the franchise, the Diplomats qualified for the playoffs and increased average game attendance in each of their last three years of existence. Additionally, in their final year, the Diplomats were able to sign the future European Player of the Century Johan Cruyff. After the 1980 season the Diplomats folded when then owner, the Madison Square Garden Corp., had accumulated losses of $6 million and team president Steve Danzansky could not gather enough money to keep the team alive.
The cheerleaders for the original Diplomats were known as the Honeydips. The team also ran ad campaigns calling themselves "the Dips."