Olsen wants permanent D.C. United job

I want to coach this team next year, says interim coach

NEW YORK — Ben Olsen understands his role as interim head coach: Get struggling D.C. United back on track. Being United’s manager, whether interim or not, has been a thankless job this season and one reportedly not on offer to Olsen for next year. But he remains hopeful.

“Would I like to coach this team next year? Yeah, I would,” Olsen said on MLSsoccer.com’s ExtraTime Radio.

LISTEN: Olsen on ExtraTime Radio

What would keep that from happening is Olsen’s lack of experience on the bench. He is less than a year removed from his playing career and had been former D.C. coach Curt Onalfo's assistant for just less than eight months before being named interim manager on August 5.

“There’s a lot of good coaches out there,” Olsen said, “and I realize I’ve been on the job for six or seven months. So is [it] realistic [to want the job]? I don’t know.”

The task facing Olsen would be daunting, even for a much more experienced manager. D.C. United have been in the MLS cellar all season. With a record of 5-16-3, good for just 18 points in 24 games, the team’s results rank among the worst in league history.

On Saturday, though, the Black-and-Red won their second game under Olsen, a 1-0 victory away to Toronto.

“I think, in a lot of ways all year, but in particular these last two months, we’ve been doing a lot of good things,” Olsen said. “We just haven’t made the play that counts, and it was a matter of us getting that done. And I think we finally got that done in good fashion.”

Getting it done next Saturday will be more difficult. United travel to the West Coast for a showdown with the league-leading Los Angeles Galaxy at The Home Depot Center.