Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity
On Twitter: SoccerInsider and PostSports  |  Facebook  |  Sports e-mail alerts  |  RSS

A Few Minutes With Ben Olsen

Before we get started with Olsen, you should know that, because of the wet, cold weather sweeping into the area this weekend, United's friendly against the Maryland Terrapins on Sunday has been moved to Tuesday evening at 6:30 p.m. (If you plan to attend, beware of traffic issues caused by rush hour and a basketball home game.) You should also know that recently released left back Mike Zaher will apparently head to San Jose and try to earn a roster spot with the Earthquakes.

Ben, how would you gauge United's progress in preseason?

Olsen: "Everything is where it should be at this point in the season. The chemistry is good and the guys seem to enjoy each other on and off the field. Soccer-wise, it gets better every day. The fitness is coming along."

Can you notice a difference in chemistry this year compared to last year?

"Definitely. When you have the right group, it doesn't take long to notice it. It's pretty instant. The young guys know their place and fit in. The old guys seem to really feel as if we have some things to prove. We let down ourselves and the fans and the organization last year in a lot of ways, and we're all looking to remedy that. It's on our mind."

Keep reading.....

How is your personal progress?

"I'm getting through every training, so I am way ahead of where I thought I'd be. I'm not the same player, meaning I am slow and old. That's the new me. I'm looking alright out there, right? It's sore before I train and after I train, but for the most part, it gets warmed up to where I can get through it. Where does it go from here? Does it get better? Do I get used to the grind and get more fitness? That's all to be determined. It's just so nice to get back and play and contribute."

Your appearance against Puerto Rico Saturday was your first real game since last summer, right?

"Yeah, it went okay. We had a lot of the possession, so it wasn't the greatest test. The next day was a better gauge. We did an intrasquad scrimmage, and because it was only 45 minutes, it was high intensity and everyone went all out. I came out of that pretty well. ... I just feel like I can affect this team in a positive way again."

By Steve Goff  |  February 27, 2009; 4:40 PM ET
Categories:  D.C. United  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: DCU Signs Defender
Next: Alvarez Out for ES, Maund In for USA

Comments

Good for Zaher - SJ only has Eric Denton at LB.

Posted by: PhillyMLS | February 27, 2009 4:49 PM | Report abuse

"I just feel like I can affect this team in a positive way again."

Welcome back, Ben.

Have a great weekend, Insider colleagues.

Posted by: joedoc1 | February 27, 2009 5:02 PM | Report abuse

Ben Says: "When you have the right group, it doesn't take long to notice it [the difference in chemistry]."

Hmmm... I wonder what was the cause of last year's group not being the "right group"...

Posted by: SSMD1 | February 27, 2009 5:04 PM | Report abuse

No criticism of Goff, but let's be realistic here. You should not expect to hear a good teammate rip a current teammate. So the comments about the team were something I'd expect we'd here from any respectable player (ie: "we coming along well" and "good chemistry" and "something to prove", etc.). But what Ben Olsen has always been level about (and what is the real concern) is his health and ability to contribute. He's always been upfront and public about that...willing to say that maybe he'd never play again. I don't care if he's not as fast. To me, that he can warm up and play and still walk the next day, that he feels he's getting better, that he's not being wildly realistic ("totally cured") tells me that as far as we can tell, the prognosis is extremely good, especially for someone who was publicly saying that his career might be over.

If he doesn't have the speed to play outside, he'd still prove to be an invaluable central midfield player and late game sub in situations where you need a savvy guy who makes things happen, helps his teammates and instigates against opponents. Only time will tell for sure (ie: what does he feel like come August?) but he comments about his personal fitness and health and recovery were excellent news.

Posted by: JoeW1 | February 27, 2009 5:12 PM | Report abuse

Sorry to hear the Sunday scrimmage will now be a Tuesday PM rush hour scrimmage.

Posted by: Joel_M_Lane | February 27, 2009 5:20 PM | Report abuse

"I'm not the same player, meaning I am slow and old"

I hate it when players steal my lines.

Posted by: 22206no1 | February 27, 2009 5:25 PM | Report abuse

Sorry to hear the Sunday scrimmage will now be a Tuesday PM rush hour scrimmage.

Posted by: Joel_M_Lane | February 27, 2009 5:20 PM

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

Soon won't every game be a Tuesday PM rush hour scrimmage...?

Posted by: pittmancb | February 27, 2009 5:53 PM | Report abuse

I understand the team likely doesn't care about having an audience for this game, but Tuesday night + exhibition game + rush hour + home basketball game = me at home with a cold beer.

Posted by: DrBeaker | February 27, 2009 5:56 PM | Report abuse

"I'm not the same player, meaning I am slow and old" = "I no longer have that move." Time for a new Dick's ad?

Posted by: dimesmakedollars | February 27, 2009 6:34 PM | Report abuse

Ummm... United moving into their own digs means more weekend matches.

Posted by: alecw81 | February 27, 2009 6:37 PM | Report abuse

Instead of turning this into yet another moan/scold stadium discussion, let's let this uplifting update on Olsen's ability to play real minutes and the fact that the team is closer than it was last year just be what it is.

Posted by: Chest_Rockwell | February 27, 2009 7:22 PM | Report abuse

Well the switcharoo on the scrimmage has got my 3rd skort in a bunch, but I'll deal.
Ben Olsen is such a B@d@$$. Keep up the hard work man, you are an inspiration!
Thanks for a week of better news Steve. You have a totally awesome weekend.

Posted by: DadRyan | February 27, 2009 7:30 PM | Report abuse

"Hmmm... I wonder what was the cause of last year's group not being the "right group"...

Posted by: SSMD1

Who cares? It's a new season. Let's forget the debacle of last season!

Good Luck, Ben. And if by slow and old you mean craftier and wiser, super. Even at half Olsen speed you can still get after it!

Posted by: delantero | February 27, 2009 8:47 PM | Report abuse

""He's not the veteran leader we need,""

We have done very well with young center backs, and so has the league---Nelsen, Parkhurst, Boswell, Marshall.

Talent will supersede veteran leadership anyday.

Posted by: delantero | February 27, 2009 8:56 PM | Report abuse

Amen delantero! You know what else will? Winning. People don't talk about chemistry when a team is winning -- only when it is losing -- regardless of the sport.

Posted by: Reignking | February 27, 2009 9:22 PM | Report abuse

Didn't we talk a lot about chemistry in 2004?

Posted by: B_A_ | February 28, 2009 1:57 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company