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Ben Olsen will not be considered for D.C. United's head coaching job, club president Payne says

D.C. United President Kevin Payne has said it several times the past two months and, with the season now complete, he reaffirmed it today: Ben Olsen will not be considered for the head coaching job.

Olsen, who retired last winter to become an assistant, was named the interim coach in August after Curt Onalfo's dismissal. He had a 3-8-1 record in league play.

United is planning to hire a more experienced candidate, Payne said. He and his associates have "somewhat formally" interviewed four prime candidates: two based abroad and two in the United States. They plan to approach other domestic candidates as MLS clubs are eliminated from the playoffs.

Concerning Olsen, Payne said: "I don't think he's ready. I really believe Ben is going to be a very good coach someday. I just think his brain works the way your brain needs to work to be a successful. He's thoughtful, he looks for reasons why, he understands the mentality of the players, he has a fierce will to win and a competitive streak. But it takes time to understand how to manage a group through a long season. Some of it is technical knowledge, teaching them how to play."

For more.....

"We saw the positive, and in general, the team played harder. We became more difficult to play against. And we didn't sacrifice the way we play and tried to play good soccer. We still had a lot of breakdowns and we still couldn't score.

"It's been a great learning experience for Ben and I am sure he will learn a great deal over the next couple of years. I fully expect Ben will be our head coach someday."

Payne also expressed gratitude for Olsen's willingness to accept the lead role under difficult circumstances. "He stepped right in front of the moving train for us. I was very honest then that I wasn't going to let any kind of controversy start over this and I really didn't think it was best for his professional development to be thrust into the full-time job right away."

I am awaiting comment from Olsen, who, despite growing interest in the position, was resigned to the fact that he probably wasn't going to be offered the full-time job. Olsen has two years remaining on his contract and is expected to serve as an assistant under the new coach. After Saturday's finale, he was enthusiastic about beginning the process of helping rebuild the club this winter.

I'll have much more from Payne and GM Dave Kasper later, including contract status of players, Kasper's standing and other club news.....

By Steve Goff  | October 25, 2010; 3:04 PM ET
Categories:  D.C. United  | Tags:  D.C. United  
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Next: D.C. United news & notes

Comments

I have no problem with anything Payne said on this.

I also think this probably increases the likelihood of either a college or a foreign coach. If (to give a hypothetical example) Dom Kinnear was to be hired, I think even with respect to Olson, he'd probably insist on his own staff. A foreign coach--very easy to make the case that you need someone who knows the league, the players the refs.

I think Olson will someday be a fine head coach. I hope that's head coach of DC United. Ideally he'd spend another year or two as an assistant and maybe play a big role coaching a reserve or academy team (with players who should start to trickle up to DC's 1st team). A somewhat comparable example if Boudreau of the Caps who coached at Hershey before being promoted. Callups from the farm were all guys Boudreau knew, had coached and were familiar with his system. That promoted a club with a system, not just a couple of good players to build around and then some spear carriers/piano movers.

Posted by: JoeW1 | October 25, 2010 3:11 PM | Report abuse

the question all this leaves me with is this...with Olsen viewed as a futures coach, and sticking around after leading the club, to what extent does he get input on the new hire?

Posted by: teo_68 | October 25, 2010 3:14 PM | Report abuse

Also, let's see this search wrapped up soon. I'm not in a hurry. But Payne tends to take his time. With Arena, that paid off. But in this case, with a major rebuilding job, you want the new coach to have input on the expansion draft and plenty of time to scout/recruit overseas. If it's someone new to MLS than you want plenty of acclimation time.

Plus, let's be honest here: DC United is a small organization. If the coach gets resolved and gets on the talent sorting out business, that gives Payne more time to focus on stadium issues. If he's dealing with the stadium options, he's not focusing on the organization, the coach, the GM oversight--we just don't have the bodies to do it all. And the stadium is critical for the future of this club.

Posted by: JoeW1 | October 25, 2010 3:15 PM | Report abuse

Let's replace the FO first :)

Posted by: Reignking | October 25, 2010 3:20 PM | Report abuse

Olsen for GM.

Posted by: Matte | October 25, 2010 3:25 PM | Report abuse

Kevin Payne: "I really didn't think it was best for his professional development to be thrust into the full-time job right away."
------

So it was Kasper's idea then to put Olsen in charge? Or Chang's? Or is Payne talking about before the season started?

Posted by: Juan-John1 | October 25, 2010 3:35 PM | Report abuse

@Juan-John1: He's talking about next season.

Posted by: mmathai | October 25, 2010 3:43 PM | Report abuse

Payne is a duplicitous t*rd who will use anyone and everyone to justify everything he does.He talks grandly about the great United tradition and values, but he has done nothing but make a mockery of them. He needs to go work with Dan Snyder, who seems to live by the same coda.

DC United indeed!

Posted by: Ruthie1 | October 25, 2010 3:47 PM | Report abuse

So is Jason Kreis the exception that proves the rule? Or could he be a model for Ben Olsen and DC United?

Posted by: OWNTF | October 25, 2010 4:00 PM | Report abuse

I'm not concerned with anyone coming in until Kasper goes out.

Posted by: BelovedCartoonMouse | October 25, 2010 4:09 PM | Report abuse

Steve, was this post supposed to set us up for the announcement that Kasper is gonna get ghost?
I'll raise a glass to that if it's the case.
Don't be holdin' out on us man! :)

Posted by: DadRyan | October 25, 2010 4:19 PM | Report abuse

I'm with RK and the Mouse...

Posted by: yankiboy | October 25, 2010 4:32 PM | Report abuse

Ruthie, Payne DOES work for Dan Snyder.

(AKA Will Chang).

Posted by: Ron16 | October 25, 2010 4:35 PM | Report abuse

Chang is an investor in a championship team. Pity it is not DC United.

Snyder is the owner of a not-championship team. They Need More!

Posted by: OWNTF | October 25, 2010 4:54 PM | Report abuse

Next Question: Will Olsen be considered for Club President?

Posted by: carnack | October 25, 2010 4:57 PM | Report abuse

Chang is an investor in a championship team. Pity it is not DC United.

Snyder is the owner of a not-championship team. They Need More!

Posted by: OWNTF | October 25, 2010 4:54 PM | Report abuse

It's time to back off of Snyder and the Redskins. With the hiring of Bruce Allen and Mike Shanahan, it appears Danny boy learned his lesson. In addition, right now I feel extremely confident stating that the Redskins are better managed than DC United is right now.

Posted by: hateisnotafamilyvalue | October 25, 2010 4:58 PM | Report abuse

Ah. It's still early in the NFL season. It's the time of year where Skins fans think Snyder has changed and the big off-season fixes will make them a winner. I love early Fall optimism around DC.

Posted by: hateisnotafamilyvalue | October 25, 2010 4:58 PM

It's time to back off of Snyder and the Redskins. With the hiring of Bruce Allen and Mike Shanahan, it appears Danny boy learned his lesson. In addition, right now I feel extremely confident stating that the Redskins are better managed than DC United is right now.

Posted by: neil_g | October 26, 2010 7:01 AM | Report abuse

It's time to back off of Snyder and the Redskins...

...right now I feel extremely confident stating that the Redskins are better managed than DC United is right now.

Posted by: neil_g
----------------------------------------

Seven games into the Allen/Shanahan era you're this confident, eh? Zorn started out 6-2.

After a decade of failure it's gonna take MUCH more than a 4-3 record before I get back on the Skins bandwagon, if ever (and I was a lifelong fan). I still despise Snyder...and probably always will.

Which team's FO is more dysfunctional remains to be seen. Regardless, I am more of a United supporter than a Redskins fan, hands down.

Posted by: PrinceBuster21 | October 26, 2010 7:02 PM | Report abuse

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