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AUDIO: Ben Olsen post-match blowup after loss vs. Whitecaps

Olsen (Getty)

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  1. How is Ben Olsen still the coach of this pathetic team? They’ve given him far too long. I thought he was a promising coach but he hasn’t shown it yet.

  2. face facts DC United is example of a watered down talent pool in MLS. League needs to increase cap to attract more foreign talent as academies grow.

    • Watered down talent? It used to be you couldn’t draft college players you could count on to start in attacking positions and contribute. Now, it’s pretty common to see a Nagbe or Zakuani or Bruin in every draft (several of them actually). The talent pool that MLS has access to gets broader and deeper every year.

      Increasing the cap won’t fix things for DCU. As earlier posters have said, this club is run on a budget these days. Thus, the team used up their lottery order slot (which was high) in order to sign….Carlos Ruiz. Who was a budget striker. Clearly Olsen didn’t think it was “the solution”…he waited months before giving Ruiz a start and doesn’t think he can afford to start DeRo and Ruiz a the same time. The club signed Rafael from Brasil as a “youth DP” in part b/c that meant he came cheaper. Even when they’ve signed guys at DP money lately, they’ve been $100k or $200k above the DP level, no $1 million player. The owners are focusing on a stadium at the moment and if they can make that happen, that will make a big difference.

    • Increasing the cap space is desperately needed, but it won’t mean much if the league doesn’t also increase the number of international player roster slots. Otherwise, you’ve just got more money going to the same thin talent pool. There might be an increase in the quality of international players signed, but by and large they are are already the best players in MLS. To raise the overall quality of play, we need more internationals — and not just in the starting lineup.

      It’s true that not all slots on all teams are being filled right now. That’s probably partly a function of the low cap, but it might also be strategic — teams holding slots open for the summer window, either to sign new talent (if they have the cap room), or to deal those slots to other teams for valuable considerations.

      The league could go to 10 slots per team, easily. If there’s a concern that the North American fans will find it hard to identify with teams that don’t play North Americans, the league could go the NASL route and require that one or two field players must be North American (or maybe even just one or two in the starting lineup)

  3. What DC needs is new management and new ownership, not a new coach.

    What happened to the socialist league called MLS anyway? DC has not been properly financially supported in the last 5 to 7 years like several of the successful teams in MLS. The international signings have almost always been lower cost gambles rather than sure things. Why does DC never get a sure thing like Keane or Henry? The same financial issues are a big part of not getting a new stadium. The only reason DC has not moved to another city is because the fan support has been steady and also likely because it would cost the existing owners a bunch of cash.

    • i agree Kasper must go but Olsen is not guilt-free

      we didnt go after anyone serious in the offseason because BEN wanted Pajoy starting up front (and refused to use our other striker: Salihi)

      thats not our owners fault

  4. He sounds like a coach that does not have the answers. The point of the game is to put more balls into the goal than the other team. His team has not been able to accomplish this. Coaching with passion does not win games. When a Manager talks passion and fighting hard, he is clueless.

  5. What is going on at the end of the audio clip…. Ben is not speaking but the continues on with some noise / movement.

    The “joker in the middle” comment could cost Ben some $s.

  6. Ben, so why was Bill Hamid running out to get that ball anyway with three of his defenders in box. Looked reckless and stupid to me just like your post game interview. Just say’n.

  7. I really don’t see what the big deal is. coach benny was a complainer when he was a player, and that’s never going to change. he was also a winner when he was a player and he will be a winner as a coach. DCU is one of four teams left with a chance to win a us open cup. add that haul and it more than makes up for a lost season in the league, a season after playing in the eastern conference finals.

  8. most of us who post here are just as passionate about the teams we support. Our teams go up and down year after year..sometimes by a lot and sometimes by a little. Try to maintain 80% of your roster year after year to leave 20% for free agents or loans.

  9. Watching the game I don’t remember an incident where a bad call cost DC a goal. If the game ended 0-0, are we suppose to think Olsen accomplished something? In 17 league games United have just 8 goals.

    • 93rd minute, Porter crosses the ball and it hits the arm of a Vancouver player which redirects the ball and Ruiz tries a half-volley. Some wouldn’t call a penalty in that situation b/c it’s the 93rd minute. But it was clearly in the box, clearly hit the arm (not the shoulder, and the arm wasn’t by the player’s side), it clearly influenced the play and instead of a cross to an open DCU attacker in front of goal it’s now an off-balance Ruiz 10 yards further back. Calling a penalty on that play would have been reasonable.

      Additionally, you assume that if Vancouver doesn’t get that early penalty, that nothing changes in the game. Who knows–maybe Vancouver stops trying to absorb pressure, attacks and scores 10 goals? Who knows? But in all probably, Vancouver would not have sought to absorb pressure, DCU would have had more space. They certainly generated plenty of chances. So it’s naive to argue that you take away the Vancouver PK and the game was certain to end 0-0.

    • the final score is the most important thing, but it’s not the only thing.

      no, dc didn’t put the ball in the net, but they looked much more dangerous than almost any other time i’ve seen this season, so yes, i think that’s somewhat of an accomplishment (it really doesn’t have to be much for this team).

  10. I am a neutral. From the replay, it looks like bad call on the penalty against D.C.

    These things do tend to even out. But I can sympathize with a frustrated coach losing it briefly after a bad call ends up deciding the match.

  11. didn’t Vancouver get away with a handball in their own box as well? san fran, getting the ball first is part of playing sound defense. you clearly will not argue that getting the player first in a challenge will result in a non foul, if the official sees the defender hit the opponent first. and I doubt lalas would argue this either. its not like the fifa rules are cryatal clear one way or the other, but there is a section on impeding the progress of an opponent, and every player on the field has a right to their position, according to the rules, and being in the way of an opponent is not the same as moving into the way of an opponent.

    as for the DCU v crew debate, we can just count the number of stars on the jersey to see whats what.

  12. Strange, I don’t remember similar convictions from Ben after an inexcusably disallowed Ike Opara goal gifted his last-place team a free point…

    Yes, Ben, these things do have a tendency to even out.

    That being said–yes, it was a terrible call, Hamid got to the ball first. Let’s put it a different way–if Hamid were an outfield player, and had made that exact same play but with a slide tackle, would ANYONE unbiased (and I am neither a DCU or a VWC fan) really think it was a legitimate penalty?

    But seriously, Ben needs to cut it out with the martyr complex. Winners win. Losers make excuses.

    • You’re being kind of silly about this. Olsen is usually one who doesn’t do a lot of complaining of the referees and a guy who holds his players (and himself) accountable. For instance, Olsen did say that the Opara in the KC game looked like a bad one to him. Olson earlier criticized his team captain in the preseason for head butting Cruz (who’s a noted provocateur) as saying that team leaders just can’t do that. Ben Olsen is a lot of things. But a martyr isn’t one of them.

      • Ben has spent the last two months blaming everything under the sun while saying how much fighting spirit his team has. As a DC fan who worshipped Benny the player, Ben the manager has to go.

        If we’re depending on a single call to go our way, while at home, to earn a simple point then we’re desperate. It’s crushing to watch where we are. I blame our scouting. We’ve had DPs, we’ve invested in foreign players but for the past five years and especially since Olsen, we have been the worst team when it comes to A. actually bringing in good players and B. keeping them. We are a revolving door for the injured and old. We are the Cracker Barrel of MLS.

        On the Hamid call, it was a bad call. Sadly, Hamid has a reputation for brash tackles. I think that played into the decision.

      • No comment on talent spotting or coaching ability–that’s irrelevant to this thread. The argument a couple people have been making is that Olsen’s comments are just par for what he’s been saying all season. Oh really?

        –After the loss to TFC: “We’re not in this situation because of the referees.”

        –After the loss to Houston: “Is my job on the line? It better be. I am the leader of this team,”

        –After the loss to Columbus: “We are in this together. We got in this position as a group and we are going to find a way out as a group.”

        And there are other instances where Olsen said that it starts with him, or that after losses started piling up, the first place he started was with putting himself and his staff under a microscope. Frankly, DeRo has been hardly publicly about the players then Olsen has. So I just don’t buy the refrain that this is just typical whining by a coach who lost. Olsen doesn’t typically blame the referees. Maybe he’s a good coach, maybe he’s a bad coach, maybe he can spot talent, maybe he can’t. But whether you agree with his comments about the CCR this match, that’s not a typical refrain from him.

  13. I wish Coach Warzycha had a third of this passion and conviction. If one time he could come out and just rail on something I may have a little more respect for him, but it seems like all he can do is come out and tell us how well we played and how the ball just didn’t bounce our way and we made a couple of mistakes that cost us……………………………………………………………..

    As for Ben, sucks for him to be going through this.

      • And I think most Crew fans would take Ben Olsen in a heartbeat, especially given how badly Warzycha underachieves with what is, to be fair, a pretty young, talented squad.

      • It’s a deal, then? You guys get Olsen and we get Warzycha? Plus, we swap GMs, or it’s no deal!!!

      • No Swaping of GM, but I’d happily take Olsen for Warzycha. I hate the guy, dude wouldn’t know talent if it slapped him in the face.

  14. YES!

    This is amazing. Aside from the fact that I think he’s wrong about the whole “but I got the ball first” argument, it’s nice to hear a coach say what he really thinks.

    But then again–I wouldn’t be shocked if this was Ben Olsen’s last game as a head coach–perfect opportunity for ownership to relieve him during the suspension.

    • Watch the replay, it is clear Hamid got to the ball first. So his point is very valid. Huge blown call. This should never be called.

      • The argument isn’t whether the player gets the ball first–it’s whether or not that gives you free reign to do whatever.

        Alexi Lalas tweeted it best about this incident saying that getting the ball is not in the rules. If you get the ball and follow through the man, it’s still a foul.

        Don’t think anyone is arguing that Hamid didn’t get the ball first–but that’s rather a moot point as it’s irrelevant to whether or not Hamid fouled the attacking player.

        Not sure where this narrative came from in recent years that getting the ball is the only think needed to make a clean tackle.

      • For the goalkeeper it is, as long as the play is not reckless. That should never been called a penalty. In all my years watching soccer I have never seen a play such as that called a penalty unless the reff missed the touch.

      • You are 100% right that you can’t go through the man to get the ball, even if you get all ball too; but, in Hamid’s case, he gets to ball FIRST (before he gets to man) and then the attacker’s momentum carries him into Hamid. So one could argue that the attacker fouled Hamid, because the striker was “late” to the challenge, while Hamid was early or first.

        To be clear, I agree with your intepretation of the laws of the game regarding challenges and the ratio of man and ball contact. But I disagree with your intepretation of Hamid’s challenge. He got the ball clearly, and first. He won possession in other words. The attacker never had possession of the ball, in fact, so any subsequent contact is his fault.

      • I’m so tired of the Lalas hate. He’s without a doubt the best commentator in the US. He’s smart, insightful and tells it like it is. Name three other commentators that are better and tell me why you think so. I’m waiting….still waiting….

      • If he didn’t hog air time with his rambunctious “insight” maybe someone with actual soccer intelligence would be found. That said, I enjoy little less then turning on ESPN and hearing him try to sound intelligent on ESPN.

      • You’re correct that no-one (especially not the referee) should argue that Hamid didn’t get to the ball first. Not only do replays show Hamid got to it first but the ball clearly changes direction. But as for the argument that Hamid took Watson out and “fouled” him, Hamid is on the ground, Watson could have gone over him. There’s nothing about Hamid’s play on the ball that indicated that he “followed through” or tried to take out Watson. Ball’s in play, Hamid dives to the ground and gets to the ball, then Watson runs in to him and falls. Oh, then Watson gets back up, looks around and promptly falls to the ground in one of the most laughable examples of simulation you’ll ever see.

        Actually, there is a better case (a weak one, but a better case than arguing Watson was fouled) to argue that Watson ran in to Hamid after Hamid had taken the ball away from him.

      • ‘If you get the ball and follow through the man, it’s still a foul.’

        is that actually in the rules? it’s not in section 12, at least.

        and no one’s saying getting the ball first ‘gives you free reign to do whatever’. hamid didn’t go out of his way to hit the guy, and he certainly wasn’t ‘careless, reckless or using excessive force’ (which is what the actual rule stipulates).

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