After months of the D.C. United front office claiming that interim head coach Ben Olsen would not be a candidate to retain that position next year, and after interviewing at least seven candidates for the position, the club is reportedly set to remove the interim title from Olsen's name.
According to Steven Goff of the Washington Post, Olsen will be announced as the D.C. United head coach in a press conference tomorrow.
Olsen had an alarmingly poor record as head coach, going 3-8-2 since taking over the role midway through United's 2009 season, but he had his team working harder than it did under former head coach Curt Onalfo, and Olsen cannot be blamed for poor personnel decisions made in the previous offseason.
Following the conclusion of United's worst season in club history, Team President Kevin Payne discussed Olsen's future in the coaching ranks.
"I don't think he's ready. I really believe Ben is going to be a very good coach someday. I just think his brain works the way your brain needs to work to be a successful. He's thoughtful, he looks for reasons why, he understands the mentality of the players, he has a fierce will to win and a competitive streak. But it takes time to understand how to manage a group through a long season. Some of it is technical knowledge, teaching them how to play."
Payne had intended for Olsen to return to his previous role as assistant coach, but evidently he has now changed his mind.
Olsen had 29 goals and 49 assists in 221 career MLS matches, all with D.C. His playing career ended earlier than hoped due to repeated and chronic issues with his ankles and knees. Those challenges may soon seem insignificant to Olsen though, who is undertaking the new challenge now of turning the last place team in the league into a contender.