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A Few Minutes With Ben Olsen

Despite the ankle issues, Benny is going to give it a go.....

"I am cautiously optimistic about maybe getting through a season. The verdict on the ankle seems to be: 'It is what it is.' It's not going to get better than it is now. Knowing that helps me go ahead and push and do what I can. There will be a lot of maybe managing the pain throughout the season and maybe I am not going to be a guy that starts or plays. I have no idea how this is going to play out. It's very day to day with me, as it has been for a year. I've been active [the last couple weeks]. I've gotten through every day. Some days I look like someone shot me, but I am getting through it. Just keep going, keep pushing and see if I can't get through preseason, and if I can get through preseason, go from there. ... I am trying not to get too excited about playing and be part of the team right now."

"Today was the first day I was playing soccer against pros at a high level. So today was a positive step. Saying that, talk to me tomorrow morning. This thing from day to day can change. It's kind of exhausting in a lot of ways. You play and you feel, 'Oh man, today I feel great.' And then you wake up and it's not easy getting up the stairs. That is some of the challenges I have. ... When I have had the tough days the last couple weeks, I just keep going because I want to see and press this thing and I wanted to make sure that if I do come back, I don't want to waste D.C. United's time."

"I just didn't know [about coming back] but how can you give this up? How can you not try and get another year out of it and come to practice with these guys? I am not ready to step into that next career, whatever it may be. I still feel like I have a lot to give."

I will have much more from Olsen in Friday's print edition (available online late tonight).

Back in a bit with plenty of roster news.....

By Steve Goff  |  January 22, 2009; 1:34 PM ET
Categories:  D.C. United  
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Next: United News and Notes


Best wishes Ben.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | January 22, 2009 1:45 PM | Report abuse

This may be sacrilege, but I kinda think it's time for Ben to call it quits. I would love to have him back on the field, but it sounds as if he could jeopardize his ability to walk. Not sure how much good he would do the team hobbling back to defend against someone like Dane Richards. I would like to have him in a coaching capacity, though.

Posted by: forpat | January 22, 2009 1:57 PM | Report abuse

to think of whats happened to Benny and Josh Gros makes me sad...

Posted by: BurchFan4 | January 22, 2009 1:58 PM | Report abuse

Good stuff, SG. Looking forward to the article.

Anyone not pulling for Olsen is dead inside. It is taking all my will power not to get carried away here.

Posted by: Chest_Rockwell | January 22, 2009 2:03 PM | Report abuse

Benny, we love you. But get your manager badges already, they aren't paying you enough to be immovable for life, and your beloved team needs you in other ways. soehn obviously can't tell you to leave, but you should. Sorry it ended up this way.

Posted by: joshuaostevens | January 22, 2009 2:06 PM | Report abuse

"I got that move!"

*falls on face*

Posted by: anotherbodymurdered | January 22, 2009 2:22 PM | Report abuse

On the field, on the sideline, in the office, or working for the player's union. Shoot, if you decided to go Hollywood Ben, you are still a bad motherf*#%er in my book. Trying my best to keep it tame here Steve, thanks for the update.

Posted by: DadRyan | January 22, 2009 2:34 PM | Report abuse

I'm with forpat and joshua - Ben, don't do it. I'd love to see you out there, but there is life outside of a player's kit. Pain walking up the stairs? If it's a muscle pull, that'll heal. But that ankle will be the best it will ever be. And you want to be able to knock a ball around when your kids begin playing...

Get in the coaching ranks, Ben, and bring your heart and fiery personality out in the players you coach. Our sport will be better for it.

Posted by: joedoc1 | January 22, 2009 2:35 PM | Report abuse

What joedoc said.

Posted by: BlackandRedRedDevil | January 22, 2009 2:39 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: Eric_in_Baltimore | January 22, 2009 2:47 PM | Report abuse

Heart of a Lion

Posted by: CHICO13 | January 22, 2009 2:52 PM | Report abuse

I love the guy and all that he has done for the club. Having said that though, at a quarter mil a year, couldn't we better serve the roster somehow for '09?

Posted by: beergorila | January 22, 2009 3:02 PM | Report abuse

"Get in the coaching ranks, Ben, and bring your heart and fiery personality out in the players you coach." Wouldn't a whole team like that be something to see.

I'm like a stepping razor
Don't you watch my size
I'm dangerous, dangerous.

Posted by: OWNTF | January 22, 2009 3:04 PM | Report abuse

Based on what Ben said, it seems it might be time to call him into the coaching ranks. No need to risk permanent injury and disability to help the team. He can help better as a coach

Posted by: RRP1 | January 22, 2009 4:10 PM | Report abuse

You know, all you guys are making sense about not jeopordizing your future mobility. But in his shoes, I'd do the same thing. Ben, at his eloquent best, "how can you not try ..."

Good luck to you, Ben. You're an inspiration.

Posted by: Matte | January 22, 2009 4:26 PM | Report abuse

While I understand the concern about Benny not being able to make a contribution this season or risking future pain, he has earned my trust in making whatever decision he wants to on playing or not. My trust though is probably a bit more emotional than logical. It's a good thing i don't run a team.

Posted by: song219 | January 22, 2009 4:43 PM | Report abuse

I don't think Ben should give up. I broke my leg in 27 different places in a freakish rec soccer match when I was 29. For the next 2 years I couldn't even run on a treadmill, but I continued to rehab, etc. Then, just out of the blue, my leg was fine and I was able to play soccer, ski, etc. I still get weird pains and the occasional day where I cannot even walk, but it always got better. I have always guessed that it's the pins and plates in my legs restricting the natural flex of the bones, but my Dr. says that's crazy. The body is a weird thing and Ben knows his body better than anyone. Stick with it Ben! You never really know when your body will turn that corner.

Posted by: mbyrd28 | January 22, 2009 5:19 PM | Report abuse

Ben on one leg is better than half the roster, thanks to the numb nuts on the field and in the front office --- the GM and head coach should heve been fired after last season --- now, we've got one more hellish season to endure before ownership wises up and gets rid of soehn and kasper

Posted by: bestmick1 | January 22, 2009 5:41 PM | Report abuse

I'm with the camp that trusts Benny to know his own body and quit when it's time. Last year when he came on that one game, looked hurt, and we didn't see him again as he knew it wasn't there yet.

There's not a United fan who wouldn't love to have Ben back in the starting 11. I think with his drive, just having him in spring training will up everyone's game and mentality. So if he feels ready to play, and does, everybody wins. If March comes and he knows it's time to stop, the young players will hopefully have learned from watching Ben's passion on the field.

Bueno suerte, Ben.

And nice Tosh reference, I haven't heard that album in a long time...

Posted by: eadc | January 22, 2009 7:44 PM | Report abuse

"I broke my leg in 27 different places in a freakish rec soccer match when I was 29."

Dude, I hope you got a nice settlement out of that. If I called my wife said, "Honey, you're not going to believe how many places I broke my leg tonight," well, suffice it to say I'd be looking for a one-bedroom condo shortly thereafter.

Posted by: joedoc1 | January 22, 2009 9:03 PM | Report abuse

I think mbyrd28 was run over by the Zamboni, which would make it freakish indeed.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | January 22, 2009 9:09 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

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