One of the longest tenured MLS players called it a career today, as D.C. United midfielder Ben Olsen officially announced his retirement from professional soccer at a press conference at RFK Stadium.
The 32-year-old played through pain in his surgically repaired ankles in 2009, relying on medication to make it through games. Olsen managed to start in 18 league games this season, but acknowedged the strain was too much to keep his career going. Olsen was an important element this past season to a team that featured a heavy mix of veterans and younger players. Despite losing a step on the pitch his leadership and veteran presence in the locker room could be seen after every match.
Olsen retires with a number of individual and team awards, including the 1998 Rookie of the Year, 1999 MLS Cup MVP, to go with three MLS Cup trophies, and a 2007 MLS Best XI. His void leaves a gap in the D.C. midfield, one of the many questions hanging over the club this off-season.
What do you think of Olsen retiring? Sad to see him go? What was your favorite memory of him?
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