Friday, May 02, 2008

Benny Olsen...

I sure hope that you get better soon.

Since I started getting back into soccer (around World Cup '06 time) there has been one player that I have grown to love more than any other: Ben Olsen. He has been the heart and soul of DC United for years now and is a fantastic guy (from what I understand--I admit that I have never met him personally). His contributions on the field are not usually the ones that get printed up on stat sheets, or shown on top ten highlight reels. This guy is a workhorse though, and his contributions cannot be understated.

His career has been plagued by injuries, but he has always risen above them and come back a better player for it. More than anything, he has become what I think of when I think of DC United (as much as I love Jaime Moreno, and trust me I do, DC is Ben to me). With his current injury looking so terrible, it is highly likely that he won't be back on that field as a player ever again. I truly hope that, if that is the case, he will stay in touch with the world of soccer. I have no doubt that he would make an excellent coach or GM (not right off the bat perhaps, but give him some time as an assistant coach to really learn the ropes). If he'd prefer, than let him get his hands on a job working as an announcer for soccer games.

I will miss you Ben. I hope that all goes well in your recovery and know that if you have to retire, you sure picked one heck of a season to end your career with. You earned MVP in my book for last season. Emilio's goals were incredible and I take nothing away from him, but at the end of the day, we all know whose work made those goals possible, and whose grit got DC to rally and get back into the season.

Good luck, and thank you.

Here are a couple of articles that talk about Ben and pay homage to the man:

American Soccer Spot's Kind Words
Steve Goff's Soccer Insider Blog (Washington Post)

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