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Ben Olsen admits his job on the line at D.C. United

May 9, 2013, 10:10 AM EDT

Ajax v DC United Getty Images

It’s getting harder and harder to see how D.C. United manager Ben Olsen survives his team’s dismal, ongoing plunge into the 2013 season. United’s campaign quickly went into a ditch, and the club’s third-year manager, still the league’s youngest, appears unable to pull it out.

Last night’s 4-0 loss to D.C. United wasn’t just his team’s sixth consecutive loss; it was a wet metaphor for what this season has become, an effort uninspired and full of error, dripping with alarming indifference on the field and obviously flagging interest in the stands.

Forget for a second that four-goal losses at home are quite rare in soccer; meanwhile, consider that Houston was ripe for exploiting, having played Sunday night in Los Angeles and then traveled across country to meet the well-rested home team.

Even the manager sounds like he’s had enough of this manager. From Steven Goff’s report in this morning’s Washington Post:

Is my job on the line? It better be. I am the leader of this team. But I have faith in what I am doing and I will continue to go about my work.”

United was down 2-0 within 28 minutes, antagonizing a crowd that was probably around 5,000 in actual attendance, according to the Post’s veteran reporter.

Olsen said he tore into the team at halftime – but some of this is clearly on the team’s roster (not improved enough in the off-season) and on the staff’s ability to prepare players (and to pick the right ones in the first place.

More from Olsen:

I still don’t get how it takes a coach to throw things and yell at you [at halftime] to now play with aggression and with the right spirit. It’s mind-boggling to me. Maybe I will do that from the start. … If that is what it takes to get you to play desperate and with high concentration, some guys are in trouble with just being professional athletes. Some of this has to come from within.”

  1. jerichowhiskey - May 9, 2013 at 2:24 PM

    Is it too early to hope United’s season will be worst than Tampa Bay Mutiny’s record?

    • Steve Davis - May 9, 2013 at 3:39 PM

      eeeeewww! [says like a kid who doesn't want to touch an icky worm or something] … Let’s not go there just yet.

  2. talgrath - May 9, 2013 at 4:35 PM

    The fact of the matte is that none of this is Ben Olsen’s fault. Olsen took a crappy team and managed to get it good enough to get in to the playoffs last year. This year, between injuries and the fact that their handful of good players are getting older, Olsen just can’t get them together enough to put up a fight. DC needs to fire their GM, not their coach. If Olsen gets fired, he will find a job at another team in the MLS very shortly, I think.

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