DC United dumps Olsen as coach amid woeful MLS campaign

Washington (AFP) –


Major League Soccer doormat DC United relieved Ben Olsen of head coaching duties on Thursday after 10 years in the post, naming assistant coach Chad Ashton as an interim manager.

United own the worst record in the 26-team league at 2-9 with five drawn for 11 points, two adrift of FC Cincinnati and three behind Inter Miami.

"It is now time for a change," said Olsen in a statement. "It's the right move. The club needs a new face and this is the right time for the club and also for me personally to move in a different direction."

Olsen and the club he has spent two decades with are in talks to find him another role within the organization.

"Ben has been a fabric of the DC United organization for more than two decades, including his role as head coach for the last 10 years, and we are forever grateful for his contributions and leadership," said United chief executive officer Jason Levien.

United has scored a league-low 12 goals in 16 matches and comes off a 4-1 drubbing by New York City FC on Wednesday and a 4-0 loss to Atlanta on Saturday.

DC United has five losses and two draws since last winning 1-0 over the New York Red Bulls on September 2.

The 43-year-old American helped the US squad win the 2005 Gold Cup and played as a midfielder on the 2006 US World Cup team.

Olsen played 11 seasons for DC United, winning MLS titles in 1999 and 2004, and took over as coach in 2010, leading the club to the playoffs in five of the past six seasons and a 2013 US Open Cup crown.

United welcomed England's Wayne Rooney in 2018 as they opened a new 20,000-seat home stadium but he returned to his homeland a year ago, scoring 23 goals in 48 MLS matches but cutting his contract short by two years to join Derby County as United began to flounder.

"I spent the last 22 years waking up every morning thinking about how I could try to make this club better," Olsen said.

"I definitely didn’t get everything right, but I know I always gave everything I had to try to help this club achieve success... I'm very much looking forward to my next chapter."