Ben Olsen's post-match press conference after Saturday night's season-closing 1-0 loss to Sporting Kansas City covered a broad range of topics and consisted of many in-depth answers regarding what had to be done to improve a D.C. United team that recorded 17 more points than last season. Of course, Olsen could afford to be so introspective and detailed. He will certainly be back in 2012.
Down the hall, in the locker room,Charlie Davies held court in front of his locker. He finished the year as United's second-leading scorer, with 11 goals on the season. But he struggled with injury as the season went along. After playing 24 combined minutes as a substitute in losses to Vancouver and Chicago, Davies started United's must-win match against Portland Wednesday night. However, he only played 51 minutes before being substituted. On Saturday night, Davies never left the bench.
"I look at [the season] as a huge step for him," Ben Olsen said. "He's probably not very happy with the playing time he's had, but he has scored 11 goals. I look at it as a wonderful comeback. Because of the last stretch, in which he wasn't getting as many minutes he is probably not happy about it.
"It's pretty remarkable that he's come back and contributed to this team. Anywhere you cut it ... if you take it as a combined season he's a big part of some of the success we've had this year."
So, Olsen would support United exercising the option to make Davies' loan from French club Sochaux permanent, right?
"We'll have to evaluate all that." Olsen said. "We are going to have a lot of work in the offseason."
Hardly a ringing endorsement, that.
As for Davies, his answers were just as ambiguous. "If you had told me before the season that I'd have 11 goals, I'd say that'd be damn unbelievable."
But on the other hand, Davies didn't express any desire to come back to the nation's capital in 2012. He repeated that he had no idea what the future held. He raised the possibility that he could return to Sochaux and be loaned out to another club in Europe, or even returning to MLS with a different team.
"We'll see what happens," he repeated as the scrum broke up. Whatever does happen to his career, it seems less and less likely that it will happen in D.C.