MLS- D.C. United

Ben Olsen officially retires

 Ben Olsen (ISIphotos.com)

Photo by ISIphotos.com

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?

Share your thoughts below.

  • EA Scott

    A real legend; he will be missed; but I’m sure he’s got a great coaching career ahead of him. He’ll be the type of coach that the players really respect…


  • Judging Amy

    Exactly right. I’d bet a lot of money Ben sleeps better at night than Antonio Cassano. He made all he could out of what he was given. He’ll be missed.


  • Judging Amy

    Michael Jackson allegedly molested children…are you trying to analogize this to Ben Olsen’s allegedly dirty play on the soccer field as evidence that he was a bad person? Do you have a brain?


  • DC Josh

    Sad to see him go. He’ll be around DC though, either with United or with the Players Union in Bethesda, MD.

    My favorite memory is when he made his 2008 debut against the Galaxy in a 4-1 waxing in front of a packed stadium.

    Andrew Jacobson is the man who will step up into his position. Clyde Simms is a great holding midfielder, but I really like Jacobson, he has better vision and technical ability.


  • Josh D

    Fantastic player, my favorite since Harkes. I hope he sticks around to show the young’ns how it’s done! Met him once, great guy and willing to sign hats and shirts for the kids. Enjoy the rest of our life, just don’t wander too far from the Capitol.


  • mwc

    I believe that DCU’s lack of success recently is directly tied to Ben Olsen not being able to play as much. He was the engine of the team and no adequate replacement has been found.


  • DadRyan

    Anyone who doesn’t like Ben Olsen is just jealous they didn’t have them in their team. There’s a reason why every single one of his coaches and the players he played against and with have nothing but praise for him. I’d take their analysis and opinion any day over some schlub’s on a soccer blog.


  • Mark

    As a DC fan growing up my favorite players were always john harkes and ben olsen. My favorite memory is when I got to go to rfk and see the usa play el salvador in what I wanna say was 02. Getting to see benny net that header for the USMNT in his home stadium was pretty cool.


  • NJ Guy No Longer Stuck in DC

    Couldn’t agree more. When you saw him play in person you really learned to appreciate him and his leadership. The guy willed his teammates to play better. My wife paid him the ultimate compliment in the one game she saw him play: “Who is that guy? THAT guy, she said deserves a raise.”



    Class act all the way.

    Hey Ben. Come be Nowak’s asst in Philly. You can re-live your FC Delco days and play out the string with a top O30 team in West Chester. We have 3 former USL pros on the roster. We’ll even take it easy on your minutes while those ankles get well.


  • Bennyfan

    We’ve been a fan of Ben’s since he first came on DC United and my daughter was just starting club soccer. He gave us the honor as his guests of seeing him play twice in the early days in LA against the Galaxy, twice in Chicago against the Fire and in RFK where he welcomed my daughter’s entire club soccer team from Chicago. He’s a true soccer hero in every aspect of the word and an inspiration to the youth of today who want to excel in this sport. He was never dirty just heart and aggression. Good Luck Ben. You’re a true gentlemen. You’ll excel in anything you do. You’re an amazing man and soccer player. Thanks for the memories.


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