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A Few Minutes With Ben Olsen

Have you taken a liking to sitting on the bench and serving as an unofficial assistant coach?

"No. I have realized this though this year: It is a very tough job. Players have a head start because you know the game, but there is a lot that goes into coaching. Just because you play, it doesn't mean you are ever going to be a coach, or a successful coach. I think Tommy has done a great job this year. It has been a tough year. You don't like to make excuses, but you've got to call it like it is: We have had injuries, we've had new guys. I don't think anybody on the team can raise their hand and say, 'Yeah, I was great this year.' It's just that type of year. Sometimes you look on the bright side, to go through a year like this, it makes you appreciate the good years and realize that it is not always Supporters' Shields and playoffs. You have to really put a good performance on throughout the year to make a splash in this league."

Do you think the team needs to make wholesale changes again this winter?

"That is one of those things where it is not easy to be a coach. You re-did your team in a lot ways and it didn't necessarily work out and now you deal with what you have and hope it transforms you into a playoff team or a championship team. Or do you start again? Obviously, that's not my decision."

What's your situation now?

"I am still kind of on the shelf for another month until I can start doing some of the things that will let me know that this thing might work. I don't run now, but go up stairs and do a little more each day. ... There is pain there, there are four surgeries there, and everytime you go in and cut things and stitch things up and dig out, there is trauma, and trauma needs time to heal. Structurally, I am okay. I don't mind dealing with the pain in my ankle. I've been dealing with that for 10 years. I know I can play with that. If I come back, will I be the player I was? Who knows?"

You must think about the possibility of not playing again.....

"I went through that before. I had to look at my life outside of soccer six years ago. I am more interested now than I was then in continuing a life in soccer, whatever that may be. You have to [look ahead]. I don't have a degree. I don't feel like going back to school. I still have a fire in me that wants to play. I still need to go out there and hopefully play a couple more years. Will that happen? I don't know, but I will certainly give it a go the next month or two and see if it's good. If I am not able to play next year, I am certainly not going to sit around on the bike the whole year and let them eat my salary. I have too much invested in this team to hold that against them."

The birth of your first child has also changed things, yes?

"Ruby has really given me a whole new look on this thing."

By Steve Goff  |  October 28, 2008; 1:55 PM ET
Categories:  D.C. United  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: D.C. United Winding Down
Next: Twellman Out

Comments

Key point - "If I am not able to play next year, I am certainly not going to sit around on the bike the whole year and let them eat my salary. I have too much invested in this team to hold that against them."

Fabulous perspective, moreso now that he has another mouth to feed. Ben will be with United in one way or another, you can sense it. United will be all the better for it.

Posted by: 22206no1 | October 28, 2008 2:25 PM | Report abuse

So, what is Ben Olsen actually saying here?

He'd rather play than not.

The team was injured and so was he.

He doesn't know what his future holds or what will happen to the team.

And his daughter has given him a whole new look on things.


Mmmmm...

Posted by: TCompton | October 28, 2008 2:28 PM | Report abuse

"...I am certainly not going to sit around on the bike the whole year and let them eat my salary. I have too much invested in this team to hold that against them."
--------------
Character is defined not by doing the right when things are going well, but when things aren't going well.

Great stuff, Ben.

Posted by: joedoc1 | October 28, 2008 2:41 PM | Report abuse

We have to see that "Fire" on the field again!

Posted by: kris77 | October 28, 2008 2:47 PM | Report abuse

first child???...who's the kid in the beckham kit?

Posted by: dfunkt | October 28, 2008 3:04 PM | Report abuse

first child???...who's the kid in the beckham kit?

ben is the heart of dc united, that's true, but we need a transplant. heavy hit on salary cap, and too many injuries. lots of changes need to be made to this team i think...

Posted by: dfunkt | October 28, 2008 3:08 PM | Report abuse

stupid washingtonpost.com latency! ;O

Posted by: dfunkt | October 28, 2008 3:10 PM | Report abuse

Whoever that kid is, he doesn't belong to Ben.

Posted by: YNBA | October 28, 2008 3:16 PM | Report abuse

first child???...who's the kid in the beckham kit?

Posted by: dfunkt | October 28, 2008 3:04 PM

-------------------------------------

That's Dawson, of course. If you've seen that f-ing spot half as many times as I have, I'm surprised every line of dialogue isn't burned into your brain by now. The only silver lining to the end of this season is the hope that that commercial will finally be retired...

Posted by: Kenobi | October 28, 2008 3:20 PM | Report abuse

Ben put him up for adoption when he put the Beckham shirt on.

Posted by: Reignking | October 28, 2008 3:41 PM | Report abuse

One of the finest, most down to earth players ever in MLS. What class. DC United needs him whether playing or coaching. He really is the heart and soul.

Posted by: Beckster1 | October 28, 2008 3:42 PM | Report abuse

You mean that's not his kid?
So that's not his beautiful wife?
That's not his beautiful house?
My God! What have they done?!

Posted by: TexAddick | October 28, 2008 3:46 PM | Report abuse

That's not his kid.
That is his beautiful wife.
He's got Zack Wells in his basement.
But he's letting him out tomorrow night.

Posted by: StevanF | October 28, 2008 4:08 PM | Report abuse

first child???...who's the kid in the beckham kit?

Posted by: dfunkt | October 28, 2008 3:04 PM

Benny disowned him after purchasing that jersey. Therefore this is his first child

Posted by: GoUnited | October 28, 2008 4:24 PM | Report abuse

We did win the Open Cup and Qualify for the CCL this year. It wasn't a total loss.

Posted by: jake77 | October 28, 2008 6:23 PM | Report abuse

We did win the Open Cup and Qualify for the CCL this year. It wasn't a total loss.

Posted by: jake77 | October 28, 2008 6:23 PM

Isn't that the definition of total loss?

Are we excited to be playing in a tourney next year we didn't care about this year?

Posted by: Southeasterner | October 28, 2008 8:35 PM | Report abuse

Are we excited to be playing in a tourney next year we didn't care about this year?

Posted by: Southeasterner | October 28, 2008 8:35 PM
===============

We stopped caring when it was clear that we wouldn't advance in the CCL. Next year we won't have the CCC to worry about. I don't know who gets into the SuperLiga, but I'm guessing we won't have to worry about that either. So the only extra-MLS competitions for DC next year will be the CCL and the USOC. So, on paper or in silico, the propsects for the CCL are better next year.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | October 28, 2008 8:58 PM | Report abuse

Did I ever tell you about the time Olsen took me out to go get a drink with him? We go off looking for a bar and we can't find one. Finally Olsen takes me to a vacant lot and says, "Here we are." We sat there for a year and a half and sure enough someone constructs a bar around us. The day they opened we ordered a shot, drank it, and then burned the place to the ground. Olsen yelled over the roar of the flames, "Always leave things the way you found em!"

***

I'm pretty sure that Olsen will have a spot on the coaching staff available if his ankle doesn't heal enough to let him play. Even if he's only learning the ropes by joining the coaches on the bench, there's so much he can offer the players in terms of their mentality. However, his determination to play makes me optimistic that he'll return to where he belongs, on the field making life hell for our opponents.

Posted by: Chest_Rockwell | October 29, 2008 12:50 AM | Report abuse

This article shows the true qualities of a leader! Thank you again Ben, and I will tell you coming from someone that doesnt have a degree but is considered a success (in the eyes of those who matter to me) that the desire and confidence that you possess will carry you to success in any venture that you decide to try! Vamos United

Posted by: coastalsoul | October 29, 2008 8:28 AM | Report abuse

That's just horrible! But funny as hell!

That commercial really does need to stop. They did stop playing it for a month or two, but now its on ALL the time again!

Posted by: kris77 | October 29, 2008 9:13 AM | Report abuse

first child???...who's the kid in the beckham kit?

Posted by: dfunkt | October 28, 2008 3:04 PM
-----------------------------------

When Ben Olsen says, "You're in trouble, boy," he ****ing means it.

Posted by: spidergoose | October 29, 2008 2:47 PM | Report abuse

When Ben Olsen says, "You're in trouble, boy," he ****ing means it.

Posted by: spidergoose | October 29, 2008 2:47 PM

-------------------------------

lol, that's hilarious! poor dawson...set adrift like that.

Posted by: dfunkt | October 29, 2008 4:29 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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