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Olsen Speculation

Everyone in the D.C. United community wants to see veteran midfielder Ben Olsen back to his old self and in the lineup next season. The reality is, however, that he has a long way to go in his comeback from recurring ankle problems. Retirement, sadly, is a distinct possibility.

The latest buzz I'm hearing is that, if Olsen is unable to resume his playing career, United would consider offering him a front office job and perhaps create a technical director position that would work under GM Dave Kasper and with Coach Tom Soehn.

Olsen, enjoying his rookie year of fatherhood, could not be reached for comment and Kasper said such a scenario has not been discussed.

What do you think of Olsen as some sort of player personnel official when his playing career ends, whether it's this winter or in 2012? Or would he be more effective working for the players union or perhaps as a coach?

By Steve Goff  |  December 10, 2008; 1:58 PM ET
Categories:  D.C. United  
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Posted by: Colm1 | December 10, 2008 2:20 PM | Report abuse

If Benny can't come back, yeah, I like giving him a front office job. I wouldn't be against giving him the coaching job if Tommy is fired, either. Honestly, I'd rather him make the decision to retire sooner than later. Let the front office have time to find a suitable replacement instead of stringing them along like last year.

Posted by: CrippledKeeper | December 10, 2008 2:30 PM | Report abuse

I don't see how it could hurt to have him working for the club in any capacity...
Maybe he could pour beers at the 3rd Jersey.(Wouldn't that be a dope name for the bar I suggested at RFK?) :-)

Posted by: DadRyan | December 10, 2008 2:32 PM | Report abuse

I'd think a technical director for DCU or union role next to Pope might be a good fit if the worst was to happen.

Posted by: Section117 | December 10, 2008 2:37 PM | Report abuse

I think he would be good as tech. Dir., have him work the youth sqauds and development players.
seems fit for him.

Posted by: TheWashDipsSince88 | December 10, 2008 2:38 PM | Report abuse


I'm torn about this in so many ways. I can't imagine Ben being involved with anything but DC United. I hope that whatever role he could get would allow him to perhaps become the DCU manager some day with him only leaving because the national team job or some other high profile job became available.

And after he's added some more silverwear to the case too!

Posted by: VirginiaBlueBlood | December 10, 2008 2:41 PM | Report abuse

I think he'd be most effective as a coach (learn the ropes as an assistant first, then eventually move up), but anything that keeps him with the club is the right thing to do. That said, I'd really hate to see it come to that this year. Benny isn't done yet.

Posted by: Chest_Rockwell | December 10, 2008 2:44 PM | Report abuse

In the meantime, he can keep rehabbing and training, and if can get back to form, he can rejoin the team.

Posted by: Reignking | December 10, 2008 2:45 PM | Report abuse

If he can't play, I propose making him an Ass't coach, but with a salary reflective of a more senior position. It would be great if he could be the next United coach!

Posted by: Dougmacintyre | December 10, 2008 2:53 PM | Report abuse

Section117 has it exactly right. None of you have any idea how Benny would be as a coach, especially the old jokester Reignking.

Posted by: BillyBob4 | December 10, 2008 2:58 PM | Report abuse

I think most people considered Ben to be near the end of his productive playing days before the 2006 season kicked off. His play in 2006 and 07 were fantastic, but any player that had gone through as many ankle issues as he has won't be able to maintain that type of production.

DC United was kind to keep him on the roster in 2008, but in likelihood, the Ben's salary may have hurt the team more than Olsen's presence on the sideline helped.

The reality is that Ben Olsen's playing days are most likely over for him. His salary makes him one of the more expensive players on the squad and his history of long-term injuries is almost as impressive as John O'Brien and Claudio Reyna.
I would rather see United offer Olsen a position on the coaching staff/front office, than to have his salary hit the cap another year without much production.

Posted by: TCompton | December 10, 2008 2:59 PM | Report abuse

Sadly, I think many of us recognize that his playing days are near their end, if not at the end. If DCU can find some way to keep him involved with the club, and IF that is what he wants, it should certainly do so out of loyalty for his long service. He has been the heart of DC United for many years.

The question, though, is whether that is really the right career move for him. Is there something other than soccer that he should be doing next? Is there some other sort of position into which team supporters can help him move? The team owes him, yes, but we owe him too.

What's best for Beninho is what I want to see happen.

Looking at my online ID I wonder whether I need to change it.......

Posted by: fentysupporter | December 10, 2008 3:35 PM | Report abuse

"The latest BUZZ I'm hearing is that, if Olsen is unable to resume his playing career..."



I'm not your editor but I believe the word you were looking for was BUZKILLL.

Best wishes for Ben. At least the team might be able to plan for a future without him on the field.

Posted by: Joel_M_Lane | December 10, 2008 3:57 PM | Report abuse

There are a lot of ifs to Olsen's return. He'd better line up that FO job. He'd be great at it. And he should stay at DC, IMO.

Posted by: Modibo | December 10, 2008 5:22 PM | Report abuse

I talked to Ben for a while at MLS Cup and I have to say he was really pessimistic about returning, despite an intense desire to get back on the field.

I would be surprised if the chances of Ben playing are more than 10% for next year.

Ben still has a lot to offer the game but I fear it will not be as a player.

Posted by: dcufan53 | December 10, 2008 7:05 PM | Report abuse

Just hope he doesn't end up working for the Philly expansion team... Now that would suck.

Posted by: DadRyan | December 10, 2008 7:26 PM | Report abuse

If Ben can't play, I can see him in any of these capacities. His passion and motivational skills could be used representing players or coaching them. I certainly hope he stays here and continues to be the "heart and soul" of this team for a long time to come.

Posted by: Beckster1 | December 10, 2008 8:29 PM | Report abuse

Ben is a man of many parts. Soccer is only the most obvious of them. He loves DC (the city) and knows it well. (He named CityZen as his favorite restaurant; I'll wager most athletes would name the closest steak house.) I could see him in some official capacity with the DC government, Arts Council,

Posted by: b18bolo | December 10, 2008 9:50 PM | Report abuse

"learn the ropes as an assistant first, then eventually move up"

Learn the ropes for the first three games...
Sorry, Tom.

"In the meantime, he can keep rehabbing and training, and if can get back to form, he can rejoin the team."

Could he coach and be a player simultaneously? (like with Michael Jordan and the Wizards) Because that would be sweet. =)

Posted by: redskinsux | December 11, 2008 12:23 AM | Report abuse

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