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Wondering how D.C. United fans feel about Ben Olsen news

Oct 9, 2013, 3:20 PM EDT

Ajax v DC United Getty Images

Ownership around RFK Stadium seems amenable to bringing back manager Ben Olsen for a fourth season in charge at D.C. United. So says Steven Goff of The Washington Post, citing team sources.

Olsen, still Major League Soccer’s youngest manager, has a year remaining on his contract, which may be part of the motivation for keeping him. The team continues to lose money – that ongoing attachment to RFK Stadium is a real fiscal ball and chain, dragging the club perennially under water – so perhaps paying Olsen to leave just isn’t something the club can countenance.

Still, Olsen did have one good season, the 2012 campaign. There’s that, at least. And there was a 2013 title, last week’s U.S. Open Cup.

The bigger surprise may be that GM Dave Kasper will apparently be retained. There is zero evidence that Kasper can assemble a winning roster. (We’ve written about it before.) Perhaps we can say that Kasper is now free to build a roster without meddling from Kevin Payne, who left before the 2013 season.

But this year was a disaster. Besides, it’s a bottom line business, and Kasper bears some responsibility, at very least, for a franchise that is about to miss the playoffs for the fifth time in six years. Imagine that! In a league where it has always been mathematically easier to make the playoffs than miss them, that is absolutely inexcusable and unacceptable. It’s just this side of incomprehensible!

(And I’m not buying the “injury” excuse for 2013 around RFK. Lots of clubs deal with injuries; some have had it must worse that United this year. Even if you accept that injuries played a big part, being historically bad makes this a different conversation.)

If current ownership is willing to accept this, then they deserve whatever they get going forward.

  1. talgrath - Oct 9, 2013 at 3:48 PM

    Keeping Olsen is smart, keeping Kasper is dumb. I wonder if keeping Kasper has more to do with his contract than anything else?

  2. jrocknstuff - Oct 9, 2013 at 4:35 PM

    They both need to go. Cup run be damned, when you have a historically bad team you clean house. They need to rebuild from the bottom up. Olsen, Jasper, De Rosario, Pontius, all need to be shown the door. The reason they don’t draw has almost as much to do with their play as it does with RFK. If this new stadium deal falls through then there’s nothing they can do to draw more fans but play better, more entertaining soccer. When you score the fewest goals in the history of the MLS people aren’t going to pay to watch you play. Especially in and around a city where the majority of the workers have been furloughed.

  3. happylars - Oct 9, 2013 at 9:37 PM

    In my opinion, DCU have got to keep Ben around. He is the only sort of figurehead/constant/face of the organization right now. There have been fringe players who have almost grabbed that, but let’s face it, the team is in dire needs. The last thing they could do, as of right now and in the eyes of the fans, is to eliminate such a figure.

    Granted, if next season continues in the vein of this current season, then adjustments will and should be made. He has, probably, till June.

  4. pjbowmaster - Oct 9, 2013 at 10:03 PM

    Keep Ben……dump Kasper. Most importantly, GET NEW STADIUM BUILT!

  5. rafibomb10 - Oct 10, 2013 at 10:46 AM

    Keep Ben around, that is fine with me. Listening to him talk about his ideas and philosophy, while also watching the style he tried to implement was the exact things the MLS should try to do. Ball retention and possession are key components MLS teams forgo, relying on more of a straight forward kick and run, counter attack style. Ben can’t help his GM provided him with a squad littered with players inept at possessing. I was in the minority who thought it unwise to keep De Rosario after his MVP season, because not many can match that at 37 years old.

    Kasper was the issue. This year’s draft was poor. He brought in an ineffective Riley. Brought back Carlos Ruiz. Seriously?

    I would have canned Kasper. In reality, Ben needs to be in control of personnel decisions because it is the type of players that fit his style that need to be brought in.

    Just my thoughts…

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