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Ben Olsen

Ben Olsen: One of the Best In MLS Since 1998

Steve Goff of the Washington Post is reporting that Ben Olsen’s distinguished career in Major League Soccer could be over. Olsen has been one of the most consistent players in the league when healthy, helping to lead DC United to the 1998 CONCACAF Champions Cup title, the 1999 and 2004 MLS Cup titles and the 1999, 2006 and 2007 MLS Supporters Shield. Olsen has also been a top player for the US, scoring his first international goal in front of my eyes in 1999 at Lockhart Stadium versus Chile as well as scoring the winning goal for the US in the 1999 Confederations Cup versus Germany, one of the best US victories of the last ten years. Olsen last played for the US in the 2007 Copa America.

Olsen’s performance against Argentina in the first match of Copa America was a throwback to the days when Olsen despite looking at times unskilled and raw could dominate the midfield in a match. The fact that he was playing against the likes of Riquelme and Veron spoke volumes as to the quality Olsen possessed when healthy. The story of his career was however sadly highlighted by injuries. Olsen’s injury problems began in the 1999 season for DC United, but he was healthy during the playoffs as the club won MLS Cup. But the injuries really began to pile up during a loan spell in 2001 to Nottingham Forest of the English First Division during the MLS closed season. Olsen played well with Forest and would have likely stayed with the club but was injured and fought through injuries for the next several years while DC United struggled. When Olsen once again returned to health, United returned to form in the 2004 to 2007 time period. Olsen’s potential retirement causes problems for United and quite frankly takes away a valuable utility type player from US Manager Bob Bradley as tough qualifiers in CONCACAF approach. Olsen has been a winner, period in a sport where many Americans quite frankly have a losing mentality. If this is it for him, may his career be remembered for his grit and accomplishments not his susceptibility to injury.

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15 Comments

15 Comments

  1. Pingback: Benny’s Back | Football Parade!

  2. Dwayne

    May 9, 2008 at 8:54 am

    Ben Olsen is a good player- reminds me of my beloved Cobi Jones. But again Karthik, I have to say that you have a clear bias towards DC united. Are you from DC/ a DC supporter?? Or are you just drinking the DC-Kool Aid..?

  3. bandeeto

    May 3, 2008 at 3:12 pm

    Hey Kartik, I think you’ve got a couple of admirers crying out for your attention on this post. I think that’s cute.

    Anyway, Benny has been one of my favorite players for along time. He doesn’t have the technical skill of many of his teamates, but that never seemed to hold him back. He was definately a man among men for DC United.

  4. Berlin

    May 3, 2008 at 2:18 am

    Best of luck to Ben Olsen, but he’s a poor man’s Reyna, and I’m not a fan of Reyna even in his heyday (not to mention the Ghana debacle).

  5. 11

    May 2, 2008 at 10:08 pm

    You are the real loser, your worthless Kartik!

    Go back to your Red Devil radio and your retro games from 1966.

    Hope you enjoy John Motson talk about 66 like it was yesterday.

    GET OVER IT YOU BRIT BASTARD!

  6. Crew 1996

    May 2, 2008 at 9:07 pm

    Olsen has been a thorn in the side of many teams in MLS.

    I hope he enjoys retirment. 🙂

    Seriously, a great great player to watch through the years. Long on hustle and desire, and as you said a winner.

  7. RG

    May 2, 2008 at 8:59 pm

    Kartik, honestly why do you indulge these Eurosnob twirps?

    The truth is your statements about the quality of MLS and the struggles of the US National Team which you clearly make to allow you to appear objective in the face of eurosnob critics have simply given comfort to people like this jerk.

    Why even pay the Brit lovers lip service?

  8. kartik

    May 2, 2008 at 8:09 pm

    If you don’t like US Soccer and don’t support the US or have any interest in CONCACAF don’t come here. This is an American site about the American game. MLS, USL, the US National Teams are the topic of conversations. If you are looking for coverage of the Premier League or Liverpool Football Club, countless other websites exist for your reading pleasure.

    We also cover Mexican Football when we can here because it is something which elicits many crossover fans and Mexico is the US’ primary CONCACAF Rival.

    Berlin, interesting that PTI actually discussed MLS! Great to see they took notice although Wilbon is substantially more willing to give soccer a shot than the tosser that is Tony Kornheiser.

  9. Johnathan Starling

    May 2, 2008 at 6:36 pm

    To ‘you’re worthless kartik’ (Hi Trav…Chelsea 3 Liverpool 2 enough said…enjoy another trophy less season)

    I’m still waiting for what was worthless about this article. Since we know you are American, I wonder how you will enjoy life in Liverpool?

    And exactly why is this poorly written?

    I’m still waiting for answers…answer obviously you cannot provide.

  10. Berlin

    May 2, 2008 at 5:53 pm

    Unrelated, but did you catch Michael Wilbon on PTI ripping the fans in Toronto for covering the field in streamers. In his opinion its the reason soccer will never be a major sport. In my opinion it’s what makes the MLS the most enjoyable sports environment in America. I’d take streamers and rabid fans over the late arriving, comatose, apathy that exists in most other major sports stadiums throughout the professional american sports community. It’s the very reason, I as a fan, gravitate towards college football and the MLS. Sports is supposed to be about passion.

  11. Joe

    May 2, 2008 at 5:24 pm

    ” write poorly written articles about us soccer.”

    Kartik you need to ban these clear Eurosnobs from the site.

    This clown either

    a) is English and threatened by the growth of the game in the US and comes here to start trouble

    b) is an American so stupid and naive to believe he can watch his beloved Manchester SCUM United or Lousypool on cable TV in this country if MLS fails.

    Are you the SOB who put the logo up for US Soccer, saying really nobody gives a s#$t or cares on another site? I bet you are.

    For the record I believe while this is a good article, K you are jumping the gun. Olsen will be back. He’s been hurt before and has always recovered.

  12. you're worthless, kartik

    May 2, 2008 at 5:17 pm

    to johnathan starling,

    i called kartik worthless and never used the word meaningless (though you used quotes as though i did). maybe you’re as bag a moron as kartik. maybe you two could have gay sex and write poorly written articles about us soccer.

  13. Papa

    May 2, 2008 at 3:28 pm

    It is interesting to see how United have struggled without Benny around. His health and playing time seem directly proportional to United’s consistency (they are able to win without him, but they are just as able to lose when he is gone too). He brings a tremendous amount of heart and grit to the team, and I think that you are right on about his winning mentality; he knows how to win. That is something that a lot of the players in our national pool are rally lacking. They want it, but they just don’t have that confidence that comes from winning. Benny has that.
    Here’s to hoping that he gets his ankles fixed up and enjoys a long and healthy career, cause this guy has been one of my absolute favorites since I got back into the beautiful game.

  14. Johnathan Starling

    May 2, 2008 at 3:20 pm

    To you’re worthless kartik,

    Talk about pot calling the kettle black. Please enlighten us on exaxtly what is ‘worthless’ and ‘meaningless’ to this article…that is if you can find any?

  15. you're worthless, kartik

    May 2, 2008 at 2:06 pm

    holy crap, what an article title. you are the worst soccer blogger i’ve come across. i read your articles simply for the laugh factor. HANG IT UP, you’re a loser.

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