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Olsen to Retire

Ben Olsen, D.C. United's gritty midfielder who overcame severe ankle injuries to resurrect his career this season, has decided to retire, several sources told the Insider. A formal announcement is expected next week.

Olsen, 32, is not a candidate for United's head coaching job, sources said, but seems likely to remain with the organization in some capacity, perhaps as an assistant coach. Neither Olsen nor club officials were willing to discuss the matter today. Teams typically refrain from making major announcements in the days leading up to the league's marquee event, MLS Cup, which will take place Sunday night in Seattle (8:30 p.m. ET, ESPN).

Enduring pain throughout the season, Olsen had to work with the club to carefully manage his playing time. He ended up playing 20 of 30 regular season matches and started 18.

Beyond his contributions on the field -- second in team history in games played and starts and third in assists -- Olsen was the face of the club and a visible presence in the community since leaving the University of Virginia a year early and signing with United in 1998. He won two MLS Cups (1999 and 2004) and played for the U.S. national team at the 2006 World Cup in Germany.

What will you remember most about Olsen's career?

By Steve Goff  |  November 20, 2009; 3:45 PM ET
Categories:  D.C. United  
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Next: Beckham Status and MLS Notes


Posted by: HWLongfellow | November 20, 2009 3:55 PM | Report abuse

The Beard

#14 Needs to hang from the rafters of RFK immediately!

Godspeed Benny! May you be the face of DCU and its values 100 years from now.

Posted by: VirginiaBlueBlood | November 20, 2009 4:01 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for everything, Heart of a Lion.

Posted by: sitruc | November 20, 2009 4:01 PM | Report abuse

Benny :(

Posted by: VercengetorixII | November 20, 2009 4:01 PM | Report abuse

His drive and passion on the field. If United was losing, and Benny was on the field, it always felt like winning was still possible. If he ends up working as an assistant, I hope he can pass that trait along to the younger players.

The hat trick was pretty damn sweet, too.

Posted by: eadc | November 20, 2009 4:04 PM | Report abuse

The 2008 appearance was a very touching moment.

OT -- CP Baltimore is throwing in with the new league with Montreal, et al.

Posted by: OWNTF | November 20, 2009 4:05 PM | Report abuse

VirginiaBlueBlood -- Agreed, but he won't be eligible until 2012

Posted by: spidergoose | November 20, 2009 4:09 PM | Report abuse

Benny PLEASE don't go work for Philly!

Posted by: DadRyan | November 20, 2009 4:09 PM | Report abuse

It's about time!!!!

Posted by: fedster | November 20, 2009 4:11 PM | Report abuse

I look forward to him being part of the club - and our city - for years to come.

They should just announce it now - no one really cares about MLS Cup on the East Coast this season. LA and the Mormons playing in Kamchatka or something.

Posted by: Kev29 | November 20, 2009 4:14 PM | Report abuse

The goal against the Galaxy at Foxboro in 1999.

Posted by: Liverbird | November 20, 2009 4:14 PM | Report abuse

That he was a remarkable player & TWIT at UVA, overly egomaniacal & optimistic about his talent, and tried to hit on my daughter, a student at the time. She indicated he was a loser!

Other than that, a nice MLS career.

Posted by: jdwatk | November 20, 2009 4:14 PM | Report abuse

go **** yourself fedster

Ben Olsen please don't go

Posted by: StewartDC8 | November 20, 2009 4:14 PM | Report abuse

I read this and my heart sank, I thought he definitely had another season left in him. I hope Ben stays with DC in a major capacity, we need him to be involved in the organization, he's one of the faces of DC United.

Posted by: Springfie1d | November 20, 2009 4:18 PM | Report abuse

Heaven forfend that college-aged male athletes hit on female classmates! The ignominy! The shame!

My opinion of Ben Olsen just made a total 360!

Posted by: HWLongfellow | November 20, 2009 4:19 PM | Report abuse

HWLongfellow - took the words right off my keyboard!

Posted by: Kev29 | November 20, 2009 4:20 PM | Report abuse

I'd like to see you play one more year, Ben. But I know that this must have been a tough decision, and I respect it. Please stay involved with DCU!

Posted by: hoyanick1 | November 20, 2009 4:21 PM | Report abuse

DCU needs to draft some UVa players this season to fill the quota.

Posted by: Reignking | November 20, 2009 4:21 PM | Report abuse

Sorry to see him go out on such a lousy season. He deserved another Cup!

Stick around, Benny! I think we can find another place for you...

Posted by: -rke- | November 20, 2009 4:22 PM | Report abuse

Benny isn't just forever associated with DC United, he's also a great ambassador for Washington, DC. From having lived in downtown for so long, he knows the bars and restaurants very well. The city should find a way to use him as an "ambassador."

Posted by: b18bolo | November 20, 2009 4:24 PM | Report abuse

Favorite Olsen moment: when he and his boys lift three trophies in 2012!

Posted by: -rke- | November 20, 2009 4:26 PM | Report abuse

I'll always remember him before that horrible loan :( He was going to be a force. He may have lost his ankle then, but his heart continues to shine as strong as ever.

Of all the poor and questionable decisions DCU has made in the last few years, they better get this one right. They need to keep Benny on in some capacity and help groom him into coaching if that's still what he wants to do.

Posted by: iamgnat | November 20, 2009 4:29 PM | Report abuse

I'd rather have him retire now and walk when he is 50 than put himself at risk. He made the right call. He has got a tough enough path ahead of him as is.

Posted by: mddeblois | November 20, 2009 4:30 PM | Report abuse

Single moment: the hat trick will always stand out. ESPECIALLY since it was against NY.

Posted by: isaac101 | November 20, 2009 4:33 PM | Report abuse

I just cried. We'll miss you playing Benny! As Drake said, "Youda f***ing best."

Posted by: kdiff813 | November 20, 2009 4:34 PM | Report abuse

What do I remember? His last action on the field at RFK: drilling the ball into the coconut of a retreating Chivas player who had just fouled him, for an immediate red.

I LOL'd....

Posted by: JkR- | November 20, 2009 4:35 PM | Report abuse

This is on par with the retirement of Cal Ripken for me.

Posted by: alecw81 | November 20, 2009 4:35 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: redskinsux | November 20, 2009 4:36 PM | Report abuse


Couldn't agree more. As far as I'm concerned, this is what I'll remember first and foremost about 2009's season.


I guess all things have to end. I deeply wish that Benny had gone out the way he deserved, lifting one more trophy, but soccer and life can be cruel. I'm glad, however, that he got to play in a World Cup, and privileged to have been able to watch him so many times in person.

I've always had a policy of not having names on the back of my jerseys (so as to be clear that I'm supporting the club as a whole...kind of silly, I'll admit), but if I was ever to break that rule it would be to get an Olsen shirt. I realize he wasn't the best player, but he was and is my favorite player for any team in any sport ever.

Olsen should be welcomed with open arms into an assistant's role the moment he makes the announcement. I don't doubt his ability to teach younger players the ins and outs of the game and (just as important) how to be a true competitor.

Posted by: Chest_Rockwell | November 20, 2009 4:36 PM | Report abuse

Yeah I remember screaming my lungs out at the game for Ben and his hat trick. You were my favorite player Ben, and its good to see you leave with class.

I also remember something about a locker and an evolution of man picture with Ben as the upright walker!

Posted by: Wiggan | November 20, 2009 4:37 PM | Report abuse

I'll always remember the hat trick. Sitting (actually standing) behind Barra Brava, I kept turning to my son and asking, "Was that Benny, again?"

His passion serves as a shining example of how to approach any sport.

Posted by: Rhio | November 20, 2009 4:39 PM | Report abuse

Kind of a random anecdote, but this was my first experience with Ben Olsen...

Back in 1999, United came to play an exhibition against my beloved Hampton Roads Mariners in the first game ever at the VB Sportsplex. Growing up down there, it was a big deal to get see players like Etch, Moreno, Harkes, and Agoos up close. Since it was a friendly, the young players got most of the time. One player in particular, Benny, spent most of the game aggressively running around, and generally acting like it was a cup final, rather than a friendly. The Mariners won in the end, and you could tell it really pissed him off. After the game, several fans gathered by United's bus to try and get an autograph or two. Guys like Harkes and Etch had long been on the bus, but as the stragglers wandered from the locker room, we all crowded by the front of the bus. When it became clear none of the players wanted to stop after the loss, someone in the group shouted, "hey, be a role model, sign some autographs" to which a lone voice, Benny, dryly replied "role model, huh? hey kids - don't do drugs", before jumping on the bus. It was a snarky comment you would expect from him, but as a kid, I didn't really get snark. So when I went home that night, Ben Olsen was public enemy #1. I hated him.

Today, after years of watching him mature as a player, and a person, I proudly proclaim him my favorite player of all time. His efforts on the field never went unnoticed, even when it was apparently that his body had failed him. He truly has the heart of a lion, and the club will not be the same without him on the field. Best of luck Benny, in whatever you do!

Posted by: VTUnited | November 20, 2009 4:46 PM | Report abuse

I guess I'll be asking for a new DCU jersy with Olsen's name/# on the back of it for this Xmas or Bday.

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | November 20, 2009 4:47 PM | Report abuse

Too bad the last chapter in Benny's DCU book was this past season. Assistant Coach and Motivator-in-Chief sounds like a good start to his career off the field.

Posted by: soccerman | November 20, 2009 4:47 PM | Report abuse

Another favorite moment: His only 15 minute appearance in 2008, when he stepped onto the field to an ovation that dwarfed Beckham's.

Posted by: -rke- | November 20, 2009 4:47 PM | Report abuse

You will be missed on the field Benny. The hat trick was amazing, I was there and losing my mind! My favorite DC United player by far, I named my son Olsen ffs!

Posted by: Pete803 | November 20, 2009 4:48 PM | Report abuse

Man, now I feel old.

I've followed MLS since day one, and Olsen, Wolff and Mathis are all my age, so I've always lived a bit vicariously through them.

Anyways, thanks for the memories Ben, best of luck in the future.

Posted by: Longgoneposter | November 20, 2009 4:52 PM | Report abuse

Crazy Legs. You will be missed.

Posted by: Matte | November 20, 2009 4:52 PM | Report abuse

His goal for the USMNT against Oliver Khan and Germany in the 1999 Confederations cup, a thing of beauty! Benny Olsen is such a stud! He started out as a finesse player and when he first started he looked like he was going to be the best US-born player of his generation, he was as technically gifted as any American at the time (before Landon Donovan and Clint Dempsey).

Then he went to England and got injured and he was never the same. But he was able to recreate himself as a different type of player, a battler and a hussler. I have never known of any other player who was the best in his country in one style of play, then was forced to switch to a completely different style of play and yet was still was good enough to play for the national team every now and then - that is truly an extraordinary achievement!

Posted by: Howard1scott | November 20, 2009 4:57 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, Benny. You will be missed.

Posted by: EdTheRed | November 20, 2009 4:59 PM | Report abuse

jdwatk - So your daughter didn't "indicate" that he would be a successful professional who would eventually be paid to work abroad and would rise to the top of his profession (WC 2006)? Yeah, I hope my daughter never gets hit on by someone like that.

Plus, his paintings don't look half bad.

Posted by: fallschurch1 | November 20, 2009 5:01 PM | Report abuse

well said Howard1scott!

Posted by: VTUnited | November 20, 2009 5:02 PM | Report abuse

@ Chest_Rockwell

My kids' DC jerseys have their own names on the back, but one has #99 and one has #14.

Best wishes Benny.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | November 20, 2009 5:07 PM | Report abuse

I only really started following the club midway through last season, after I realized what a big deal the Galaxy cameo was.

My memories are not as numerous as you guys, but my favorites are him turning around to yell at I wanna say Wells Thompson (somebody correct me if I'm wrong?) after the game tying header against NE this year, and in Charleston, when he was warming up before a game, and the crowded started cheering louder as he got closer, and he stopped for a moment to wave and applaud everyone. First time I realized what he meant to everyone and the club, and my first time experiencing a moment like that.

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | November 20, 2009 5:07 PM | Report abuse

No StewartDC8. Go **** yourself Nancy Boy.

Posted by: fedster | November 20, 2009 5:08 PM | Report abuse

Favorite pre-DCU moment: Ben hitting on jdwatk's daughter at UVA. ;-)

Favorite DCU moment: Ben's brief appearance in the '08 Beckham game with the amazing "Heart of a Lion" tifo.

Ben Olsen is DC United.

Posted by: PrinceBuster21 | November 20, 2009 5:11 PM | Report abuse

Must've been 2003 when Benny came back strong. We went on a tear late that summer. Best team in the league. And the reason was clear - Benny. Then around September Benny went down and was out for a few weeks with a tweaked knee or something. As he lay on the ground, I said out loud, "This season is over." Indeed it was. He cannot be replaced.

Posted by: weliveindc | November 20, 2009 5:16 PM | Report abuse

Here's the goal I was talkin about:

Posted by: JacobfromAtlanta-ish | November 20, 2009 5:19 PM | Report abuse

piss off fedster, honestly you showed your true colors with your first comment

Posted by: StewartDC8 | November 20, 2009 5:21 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the link PrinceBuster21. I saw Ben at the USOC match at the 'Plex and told him that his quote is exactly why the fans fell the way we do about him.

"I mean, all I do, I play hard, but it's not because I have this great heart. I just like to play soccer."

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | November 20, 2009 5:23 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for everything, Ben.

Posted by: joedoc1 | November 20, 2009 5:28 PM | Report abuse

Having the chance to play against him for several years in middle school and high school in the Mid-Penn conference of Central PA. Our team always played him dirty and cheap shotted him because he was so much better than anyone else on the field. But he'd be the first person to tell you that you made a great play or a nice pass.

Was also very happy to see him stroll onto the field in the World Cup.

Best of luck, Ben.

Posted by: tmc1492 | November 20, 2009 5:28 PM | Report abuse

Maybe you had to be there, and maybe it was because this game was one of a handful of good things about the 2000 season, but Benny's goal against Chicago is one of my favorite Olsen moments.

#4 in this clip:

Posted by: gasdorian | November 20, 2009 5:31 PM | Report abuse

Soo, who was questioning the haters earlier today? I knew they'd show their ugly mugs sooner or later.

On the jerseys, I treasure my 06/07 home replica with Ben's name and number on it. I've spent the last year trying to figure out who deserved having their name and number put on my 08/09 home authentic... I think I finally figured it out. Unless of course I get really drunk at the team sale and get DadRyan 69 put on it in the pro shop...;-)

Big Aloha from me Benny, please stay in DC and help this team get where it rightfully belongs!
Vamos United!

Posted by: DadRyan | November 20, 2009 5:35 PM | Report abuse

He may have been an SOB at times, but he was our SOB. Haha, just kidding. Thanks Benny for everything you have done for DCU!

Posted by: rademaar | November 20, 2009 5:37 PM | Report abuse

Got to retire the beard too.

Posted by: ManOfLaMancha | November 20, 2009 5:47 PM | Report abuse

I've never watch a United game, and I've never seen Ben play. But I was fortunate enough to unexpectedly have lunch with him one day (a friend of a friend) and spent a couple of hours hanging out with a truly wonderful person. I wish him the best in whatever he does next.

Posted by: RedBirdie | November 20, 2009 5:50 PM | Report abuse

Don't be a cry baby, StewartDC8. Olsen had better times, but it's time for him to go. I am just saying it like is. Olsen is done. Get over it.

Posted by: fedster | November 20, 2009 5:52 PM | Report abuse

After his brief appearance in the LA home game last season, the match discussed in the SportsBog link above, the Barra's "Heart of a Lion" tifo and all, Ed Morgans wrote this about Ben Olsen for the Barra Brava website:

Posted by: christopher_a_metzler | November 20, 2009 5:55 PM | Report abuse

Ben Olsen, the furry, haggard face of D.C. United. Thanks for the memories.

Who's your daddy?
Who's your daddy?

Posted by: Eric_in_Baltimore | November 20, 2009 6:03 PM | Report abuse

This seems like yesterday but I remember taking a flight to Chicago in May of '98 and Olsen scored his first ever goal vs the Fire. He was a rookie on that team but his enthusiasm on that team of veterans reminded me of a puppy running around with the big dogs. I knew after that Chicago win we had something special. Thank you Ben, you will be missed.

Posted by: bbride1 | November 20, 2009 6:15 PM | Report abuse

So I-270, are their names Exit2 and Exit3?

Top moment for me....the WC appearance -he looked so stoked. Glad he got to do that.
And the game in 08 when he came on for 15 min vs LA...david who?

Posted by: marksman37 | November 20, 2009 6:24 PM | Report abuse

The hat trick was cool, but I'll remember the tying goal against NE the most...and his reaction.

It really is the end of an era. When Moreno retires, the sun will have set on the era of United's dominance. Will there be new lions to fill their shoes? Pontius may be one, but he'll need a lot of help if United is to get back to old heights. I wince every time I see a Gallardo highlight with River Plate....

Posted by: fischy | November 20, 2009 6:41 PM | Report abuse

Ben Olsen was never my favorite player. I never felt he was our best player. But he was absolutely the heart of this team the past 5-6 years. And since Nowak's arrival (where Olsen began to play centrally) it became clear that Olsen had evolved into the kind of player that every successful team MUST have: a guy who plays hard, smart, tactically, gives it up every night without being dumb, makes your team hard to play against, bleeds for his teammates and his fans and comes up big at big moments.

What I will remember most about Ben Olsen was when there was one last spot on the WC team and it was Olsen or Zavagnin or 2 other guys and those other guys who instead of stepping up their play basically stunk it up, it was Olsen who sealed the deal and made Bruce Arena's decision so easy by jacking up his level of play so there was no way Arena could justify keeping him off the team. That told me that my appreciation for Olsen wasn't b/c I was in the tank for anything DCU (though I am) but that Olsen truly was a gamer, a guy who gave his all and then "turned it up to 11" when it really mattered. Pure class. The world would be a far better place if there were a lot more athletes in all sports like Ben Olsen.

Posted by: JoeW1 | November 20, 2009 6:45 PM | Report abuse

On his WC appearance -- that is also memorable for me. I had a front-row seat, literally. I have two vivid memories -- the first is Dempsey's goal celebration in front of the Ghanaian fans...a great memory. The second is more melancholy -- the stunned look on Olsen's face when Donovan passed up a run down the side in the last minute to give a pass that left Olsen defined his understanding of his own limitations and the potential that Donovan was squandering. Not a great memory, but one that spoke volumes about Olsen, who made that team based on his heart rather than his legs.

Posted by: fischy | November 20, 2009 6:47 PM | Report abuse

Favorite moment would have to be in Nuremberg, Germany during the USA-Ghana world cup game when he came in a sub.

Although I had on my USA #23 that day in the stadium, I had been wearing my DCU #14 throughout Germany, and had nearly convinced my traveling group from Denver & Seattle that Ben was the best! (well, maybe not quite) When Ben came in, it was great to see him get that reward, but a little bittersweet as a fan to think "what if.." without the injuries of 2000 and 2001.

The hat trick was awfully nice though!

By the way, ever notice that until this season, Olsen's biggest absences - 2000 (half), 2001 (all), 2002 (half), 2008 (basically all) were the same years that DCU missed the playoffs? Coincidence?

Posted by: CDRHoek | November 20, 2009 6:58 PM | Report abuse

Too beklemmt to figure out favorite memory but for now, yeah, I remember the humble above the head clap to us fans on the quiet side as he got a standing O walking into the locker room after the red card for nailing the guy in the head in the Chivas game.

Posted by: Truck | November 20, 2009 7:04 PM | Report abuse

some of you may find this silly but my favorite Olsen moment was the friendly against Nottingham Forest. A bunch of Forest fans had flown over to see the match and they were sitting next to me and behind me. They were all big Olsen fans, and said they loved his scrappiness, grit, and determination. They were very happy to see him back on the field again. After the PKs, one of the Forest fans asked me to trade jerseys with him. I happily accepted.

The Forest fans were all respectful of American soccer, I think in part thanks to Ben Olsen.

Posted by: torrey151 | November 20, 2009 7:09 PM | Report abuse

I will miss the wait that he fought for the shirt. I hope future players show pride for the team and not just themselves.

Posted by: wrightcor | November 20, 2009 7:15 PM | Report abuse

Benny Olsen is by far, the most important DC United spokesman for the league and for our team. What I will always remember about Benny Olsen is how he would always play to the crowd after games - always willing to sign autographs and talk to the media. My kids LOVE him, my wife thinks he cute, and this might sound a bit offside, but I always thought that if I were a pro athlete I would comport myself OFF the field like Ben Olsen. A winner on and off the field who will run an organization in the next 5 years. (And I cannot stand UVA!)

Posted by: sevnshvn | November 20, 2009 7:23 PM | Report abuse

My two favorite moments were when he played in the WC and the hat trick. The greatest laugh was the Dick's commercial. I will always wear my #14 proudly and probably never replace it.

There aren't enough superlatives to describe what he means to DC United and the fans. I am so glad he was able to play in the WC and I hope #14 is retired.

Posted by: Beckster1 | November 20, 2009 7:47 PM | Report abuse

My two favorite moments were when he played in the WC and the hat trick. The greatest laugh was the Dick's commercial. I will always wear my #14 proudly and probably never replace it.

There aren't enough superlatives to describe what he means to DC United and the fans. I am so glad he was able to play in the WC and I hope #14 is retired.

Posted by: Beckster1 | November 20, 2009 7:48 PM | Report abuse

As a UVa grad, Benny has always had a special place in my heart. No surprise my DCU jersey is a #14. While I loved the hat trick, especially his reaction to it, my favorite memory of him was from a game against Chicago early last season. Blanco was up to his normal nonsense but after one egregious dive (miraculously he did NOT draw a foul for a change), Olsen absolutely gave Blanco a ration of ... poo. It was trash talking worthy of the WWE and totally hilarious.

Posted by: jburksva | November 20, 2009 8:17 PM | Report abuse

Ben will definitely be missed. He always said hi to my kids when he walked through our section last season when he wasn't playing. And he signed my tickets from the hat trick game. Best of all, he is from PA where I learned to play the same hard scrappy don't-give-up-until-the-whistle style of soccer. I just didn't do it anywhere near as well.

I will always remember his most opportunistic goal in '99 taking advantage of Hartmann's serious gaff. The hat trick game was amazing and one of those was GOTW.

So many memories, so little time. Let's just hope DCU hasn't seen the last of Ben Olsen as part of the organization.

Posted by: spata2 | November 20, 2009 8:41 PM | Report abuse

Congratulations to Ben Olsen on a great career and best of success to him in the next phase of his contribution to the game he loves so much.

Posted by: Ron16 | November 20, 2009 8:49 PM | Report abuse

I was at the Apple store with my infant daughter and he approached me to talk about kids. It was a great moment. Meeting him was a treat. I got to tell him how much I enjoyed watching him play soccer. I am glad I got the chance.

Thanks for all the great memories, Ben. You have helped to make DC United the great organization that it is.

Posted by: pimmitfc | November 20, 2009 8:55 PM | Report abuse

I love you Benny. You're jersey is now on my wall above my computer screen. R.I.P. (Retire in Peace)

Posted by: redskinsux | November 20, 2009 9:40 PM | Report abuse

Ben, thank you for all the blood, sweat and tears you left on all of the fields you played on. You will never be replaced in our hearts. We'll miss you.

Posted by: Konoha7 | November 20, 2009 10:07 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: mondaymorning10shirt | November 20, 2009 10:30 PM | Report abuse

My favorite memory of Ben was an off-field one. After the games, my kids love to go down and get autographs from the players, no matter who it is or if they've gotten their autograph before. They just love having that interaction. One night Benny was signing and it was crazy. There were a bunch of kids pushing and what not to get to the front. My daughter was waiting patiently and Ben saw her, signed a pennant he had in his hand and gave it to her. It still hangs on her wall today. What really tops it off, though, was when she had a chance to meet him a couple of weeks later and he looked at her and said, "we've met before." From that brief encounter, he actually remembered her. While I thought it was pretty cool, my then 10-year-old was on top of the world -- she couldn't believe that he would remember her! I think this is just one example, of what I'm sure are many, of how he is very appreciative of his fans and those that support DC United.

Thank you, Benny for all you have done through the years. We wish you the best in whatever you do!

Posted by: o35_still_kicking | November 20, 2009 10:41 PM | Report abuse

The full volley from HWLongfellow's hat-trick pick. Benny was one of the best and did so many wonderful things for this club, but that full volley againts RBNY was the sweetest for me.

Benny, Harrisburg is so proud of you as is DC. You were truely one of the best. You played the game the way it was meant to be played. I do not mourn or regret your decision, because you played the game - played it well and honestly. Never lied about yourself. You gave us your all, your very best and can now proudly walk off into the sunset on your own terms in full command of the next stage in your life. That is a career well satisfied, dear lad...a job well done.

Here's hoping you stay on with the club for the next phase of your career. I have no doubt that you will tackle it with the tenacity, honesty and commitment you gave in phase 1.

Thank you, Ben Olsen, my hero, my legend.


Posted by: Kosh2 | November 20, 2009 11:29 PM | Report abuse

We'll all miss you, Ben Olsen. Thanks for the memories.

From the first season, when he reminded me of Marc Overmars, to his hat trick against NYRB, which I was lucky enough to see in person, he's always given everything to this team, and then some.

I hope he can stay on as a coach at some level. A leader, a champion, and a DC United legend forever. Heart of a lion.

Posted by: bennyf_118 | November 20, 2009 11:57 PM | Report abuse

at the 2006 World Cup against Ghana, when team captain Claudio Reyna went down with an injury and the US losing 1-0, Bruce Arena sent Benny Olsen in to replace Reybna. Ben played admirably that game and the US leveled almost immediately after he came in.

For DC United, he played incredibly throughout the 2007 season. Viva Ben!

I'll also remember personally advocating for the Goffer / Olsen 2008 presidential ticket

Posted by: diego_r | November 21, 2009 12:41 AM | Report abuse

While Etch and Jaime will always be major threads in the tapestry that is DC United, the major thread that will define and remain the standard of DC United is Ben Olsen.

The combination of grit, heart, skill, hustle and will to win are what DC United are all about and Ben was always all of those things.

Thanks for always putting it 100% on the line for the team Ben. God Bless you and your family as you move on to the next phase of your career.

Posted by: RRP1 | November 21, 2009 9:41 AM | Report abuse

I can see it now, DC's first 24/7 Soccer Bar: Olsen's in Adams Morgan. Do it, do it.

Posted by: ddd001 | November 21, 2009 10:09 AM | Report abuse

I agree with diego_r...World Cup Germany. He played very well in limited action. Looking back on it, he probably should have had a bigger role in that cup. He was one of the few bright spots for that team!

For DC United, the hat trick!

An irreplaceable player! Awesome!

Posted by: alan19 | November 21, 2009 11:21 AM | Report abuse

I will miss Ben. He has the Heat of a Lion. I hope he stays with the team. He could teach the kids alot. We would certainly have a tough as nails mid-field if he helped train them. He played through pain. He needs to enjoy his family now. It's not easy running after a little one. Hope he gets a Golden Season Ticket and is at all the games.

Posted by: VirginiaFan | November 21, 2009 1:33 PM | Report abuse

Bon voyage, Ben.

My favorite moment? His entire career. I can't remember ever getting upset with his play.

One can only speculate how spectacular his career might have been without that broken ankle at Nottingham Forest in 2001. He went to England as one of the brightest prospects among USA players. He returned a step slower, no longer able to routinely and continually embarrass defenders. But his brain, guts, grit and still-excellent talent served him -- and his fans -- well.

Ben is ending his career with the same class with which he played. Let's hope the DCU honchos show the same.

Posted by: runningcloud | November 21, 2009 1:44 PM | Report abuse

Olsen has other career options. Just ask a couple of Utahans named Jacqui and Nick.

Posted by: universityandpark | November 21, 2009 2:04 PM | Report abuse

my favorite moment:
he was dating my substitute teacher when i was in 7th grade and she took all of our names down on a piece of paper. the next day she came back with personalized, signed photos of ben olsen. its still hanging on my wall. im pretty sure its his wife who did this for us.

Posted by: aubartolomei | November 21, 2009 2:25 PM | Report abuse

A sad sad day for me.

This means I need to get off my duff and finally get Olsen 14 embroidered on the back of my United and USMNT jerseys.

Much love Benny. You played the game with heart and guts and there's no one I admire more.

Posted by: vivzig | November 21, 2009 2:53 PM | Report abuse

I just heard on Comcast Sportsnet, Saturday night, that Ben Olsen may NOT retire. I'm not sure if they are kept up-to-date like Goff but I thought this is worth an announcement.

Posted by: redskinsux | November 22, 2009 12:21 AM | Report abuse

Not surprised by this, but don't entirely believe it either.

I would hold the epitaphs until you hear this from Ben's mouth.

Posted by: Godfather_of_Goals | November 22, 2009 1:11 AM | Report abuse

I will always remember, when we were fighting in the playoffs the last couple of years, that the last desperate, reaching headers were all his. He would NEVER stop fighting for the club, his achievements always exceeded his remarkable talent. I will never forget how he was our talisman, especially a few seasons ago when we went down two nothing to the Red Bulls, we put him on the pitch and the entire team rallied to a draw. Amazing man, and if he is not assistant coach I will have the reason why.

Posted by: UnitedDemon | November 22, 2009 11:53 AM | Report abuse

Hey, Nottingham Forest fan here. Sad news about Benny, he was really appreciated in his short time here. A real trier, gave 100% every game and had ability to go with it. Us guys were really hoping to sign him permanently during his time with us, but for that unfortunate injury maybe we would have.

Good luck in the future Ben Olsen.

Posted by: NFFC | November 23, 2009 5:39 PM | Report abuse

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