Ben Olsen departs role as head coach of D.C. United – could stay with club in new position
D.C. United have announced that Ben Olsen will depart as head coach of the club effective immediately. Assistant Coach, Chad Ashton will assume the role of Interim Manager.
While Olsen will no longer move forward as the head coach of D.C. United, he and the club are working together to determine a new role for him within the organization.
“Ben has been a fabric of the D.C. United organization for more than two decades, including his role as head coach for the last ten years, and we are forever grateful for his contributions and leadership,” said Jason Levien, Co-Chairman and CEO of D.C. United. “Over the course of his 22 years with the club, Ben has been a total professional and has represented this organization with incredible class and distinction. It is our sincere hope and belief that Ben will continue to have a big impact on the organization.”
Olsen, who took over as head coach of D.C. United in 2010, has led the club to the playoffs in five of the last six seasons, in addition to guiding the club to their third Lamar Hunt US Open Cup in 2013. Prior to his coaching role for the club, Olsen spent 11 seasons playing for D.C. United, winning eight trophies, including two MLS Cups (1999 and 2004).
“My overwhelming emotion right now is that I have been incredibly fortunate to be associated with this great club for 22 years. No one gets that opportunity in professional sports, and I am so much richer for all the amazing experiences and relationships along the way. I will always be grateful,” said Olsen. “It is now time for a change. It is the right move. The club needs a new face and this is the right time for the club and also for me personally to move in a different direction. I spent the last 22 years waking up every morning thinking about how I could try to make this club better. I definitely didn’t get everything right, but I know I always gave everything I had to try to help this club achieve success. I want to thank everyone at the club, past and present, and all our fans for their support throughout this journey. I am very much looking forward to my next chapter and supporting the club I love.”
D.C. United will commence the search for a permanent head coach immediately and the club will provide further updates in due course.