When Ben Olsen was promoted to coach D.C. United after the team's decision to fire Curt Onalfo, management said he was only going to be the coach on an interim basis. The season finally over, and management is sticking with that decision. Club president Kevin Payne said today that Olsen will not be considered for the club's coaching vacancy.
"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 expressed his desire to find a more experienced coach, and admitted he has already "somewhat formally" interviewed four candidates, two domestic and two foreign. However, he did leave the door open a little bit when it comes to Olsen's future with the club.
"It's been a great learning experience for Ben and I am sure he will learn a great deal over the next couple of years. I fully expect Ben will be our head coach someday."
Olsen is expected to return as an assistant coach, and has two years left on his contract.