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NWSL Sep 03, 2021

Washington Spirit announce hiring of Ben Olsen as Club President

Leesburg, VA. – The Washington Spirit announced that former D.C. United star player and longtime head coach Ben Olsen has been named Club President.

As Club President, Olsen will oversee all day-to-day operations, driving the development of the team’s business and sporting operations, and the overall effort to enhance the club’s culture and identity.

Olsen played professional soccer for 13 years, all of them with D.C. United. During that time, he won two MLS Cup titles, and his individual honors include two-time MLS All-Star, MLS Rookie of the Year, and MLS Cup MVP. He earned 37 caps with the United States Men’s National Team and represented his country at the 2000 Olympics and the 2006 FIFA World Cup.

After retiring from professional soccer, Olsen served as the Head Coach of D.C. United from 2010 to 2020, during which time he was named MLS Coach of the Year. Olsen has served as a club executive advisor with DC United for the past 18 months. Olsen is also an active contributor to the D.C. community. He supports D.C. Scores, which delivers soccer and poetry programs to over 3,000 kids across D.C., and he helps lead One Night One Goal, an annual event in support of community focused soccer programs. Olsen is married, the father of two sons and one daughter, and an artist.

Spirit owner Steve Baldwin had this to say about the hiring of Ben Olsen: “We are proud to bring Ben Olsen into the Spirit family. Ben has been a legendary player, coach, and executive in the DC soccer world. He is truly a soccer icon in the Nation’s Capital. As importantly, he has been an engaged community builder in the DMV. The Spirit will benefit from his energy, ideas, leadership, and history competing on the international stage and winning championships for DC, as we pursue another for the Spirit.”

Added Spirit Founder and owner Bill Lynch: “Ben brings a deep understanding of what it takes to compete, both on and off the field, to foster championship teams, and to develop a club that reflects the unique energy and grit of DC. All facets of our club will benefit from his enthusiasm, insights, and connectivity to the game and the city.”

Spirit Investor Devin Talbott commented: “Ben has been an engaged community builder in the DMV. In our work together with D.C. Scores, he has helped bring soccer, self-expression, and the confidence they inspire to thousands of kids throughout the District. The club will benefit from that energy and engagement with the community.”

“I have loved being part of the D.C. United family for over 20 years, and I will always be grateful to the club that has given me so much,” said Olsen. “However, it is time for a new challenge for me and the opportunity to help grow the Spirit, soccer in the city I love, and the women’s game was too great to pass up. The Spirit squad is an exciting team, and the NWSL is on the rise. I am eager to get to work building on that momentum to help bring another title to DC and deepen our responsibility to the DMV community and our fans.”

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