The first question of Ben Olsen's post-game meeting with the media was asked by none other than the D.C. United head coach himself.
"So, who wants to get me fined?" Olsen asked as he took his seat in the bowels of RFK Stadium after United's controversial 1-1 draw against Colorado, which saw the performance of referee Terry Vaughn come under the spotlight.
"I've had bad nights, as a player, " Olsen continued. "I think [Vaughn] had a very bad night tonight." Olsen didn't discuss specific decisions with the media, but he became noticeably animated on the touchline after Vaughn failed to send off Colorado goalscorer Drew Moor late in the first half after Moor appeared to trip Dax McCarty as the United midfielder was about to run onto a through ball that would have put him one-on-one against Colorado goalkeeper Matt Pickens. Moor escaped with a yellow card, and Vaughn was booed off the field at halftime by the crowd of 12,499.
Olsen's blood pressure was sent spiraling again in the 56th minute when Joseph Ngwenya's penalty shout was waved away by Vaughn, who ironically gave United a very soft penalty in the 62nd minute. Chris Pontius duly converted that spot kick to level the score at 1-1.
"We didn't get the better of the decisions in the first half," said McCarty when asked about the incident with Moor just before halftime. "I really don't know what the thinking is there. Then, we have a penalty claim when Joseph Ngwenya gets knocked over in the box, which is a better claim than the one [the referee gave]."
"I've been around a long time," said Josh Wolff, who was subbed off with a strained groin in the 44th minute and replaced by Joseph Ngwenya, "and I thought the rule was if he's the last man, it should be a red card."
Olsen saved plenty of vitriol for his team's first half performance as well, saying, "To a man, we weren't sharp enough from the get-go, and that's a part of the process that needs to get better. Our balance overall wasn't good enough in the first half." Later on in his press conference, Olsen said, "If you're asking me about the first half, I'm not going to give a good review to anybody on our squad."
United's efforts were hampered Saturday night by the loss of both starting strikers, as Charlie Davies left the field in the 34th minute with a tight hamstring and Wolff departed 10 minutes later. Davies left the locker room before reporters arrived, but Wolff was seen receiving treatment from a trainer before gingerly putting on a pair of slacks. "I've had lots of little ones over the years," said Wolff, who said it was too early to tell whether he would be fit for United's next league match, which takes place on May 29 at Portland.
The club hosts a friendly match against Dutch giants Ajax next Sunday at RFK. Kick-off is at 5:00.