CHESTER, Pa -- Some of those who know D.C. interim head coach Ben Olsen best say the league shouldn’t expect any easy outings from a struggling United side.
And that starts with United’s match against the Philadelphia Union Sunday at RFK Stadium.
“He’s a young coach, so he’s going to have to ply his trade a little bit and figure out what works for him and what doesn’t,” said John Hackworth, Union assistant and a friend of Olsen. “I expect that we’ll see a very motivated and competitive D.C. United team because of the type of person Ben is.”
Playing against Olsen’s team will be former D.C. United player Fred, who was traded to the Union prior to the MLS SuperDraft back in January.
The 31 year-old midfielder played two seasons with Olsen and expects that a team managed by him will be a well organized one, despite their unfortunate position in the table.
“He knows a lot,” Fred said of his former midfield teammate. “He’s been a national team player and from what I know when I was playing with him, I think he has a great view of the field and where to position the players. It’s a good organization. I think they’re not going through the best of moments right now, but that happens to every single team at one point or another.”
Starting his coaching career a bit earlier than he may have anticipated, Olsen took over a team struggling mightily for results and one that still finds themselves bottom of the standings.
Hackworth anticipates that despite everything going against Olsen, his team will be ready to play and will be a very tough opponent for his up-and-coming Union side.
“Any time you get an opportunity, you want to make the most of it,” Hackworth said. “Knowing Ben the way that I know him, I’m sure that he’s taking the challenge and accepted it 100 percent and wants to make the most of it. It’s not like this was the plan for him to be head coach so soon.
“I also know that he’s the type of person who is going to tackle this head on and want to do it to the best of his ability and make the most of it. They’ll be ready to play and it’ll be a very tough game on the road.”