D.C. United names Ben Olsen, Kris Kelderman & Mark Simpson as assistant coaches

Washington, D.C. (January 5, 2010) – D.C. United Head Coach Curt Onalfo today named Ben Olsen, Kris Kelderman and Mark Simpson as his assistant coaches. All four are former United players. Onalfo, Olsen and Simpson were teammates for the 1998 and 1999 seasons, while Simpson and Kelderman played together during the 1996 and 1997 campaigns. All four have won multiple championships as members of the Black-and-Red.

“I am very excited about the coaching staff we have put together,” said United Head Coach Curt Onalfo. “With Ben, Kris, Mark and myself, we have four coaches who have all played for D.C. United and understand, very clearly, the tradition and culture in place here. I am confident we have the best staff in MLS and I can guarantee you will not find a group of guys who will work harder than we will.”

Olsen joins the coaching staff after announcing his retirement as a player on November 24. He is amongst the club’s all-time leaders in several key categories – he is second in games played (221), minutes played (17,098) and game-winning goals (13), third in assists (49) and shots on goal (155), and seventh all-time in goals (29). Arguably the most popular player in United history, the midfielder won eight total trophies while in DC, including two MLS Cups (1999 & 2004). He was a two-time All-Star (1998 & 1999), the 1998 MLS Rookie of the Year, the 1999 MLS Cup MVP, the 2003 USSF Humanitarian of the Year and was named to the MLS Best XI in 2007.

Simpson has been an assistant coach for D.C. United for a total of seven seasons. He served as the team’s goalkeeping coach during the 2002 season under Ray Hudson and then re-joined the technical staff prior to the 2004 season under Peter Nowak. While an assistant coach, United captured the 2004 MLS Cup, the 2006 and 2007 Supporters’ Shield and the 2008 U.S Open Cup. As a player, Simpson spent six total seasons with the Black-and-Red. In all, he played in 53 regular season games (48 starts), putting together a record of 26-18-4 and a goals-against average of 1.49. He was between the pipes for the team’s inaugural MLS Cup, going 5-0 with a 1.16 goals-against average in the 1996 MLS Cup playoffs. Simpson’s playing honors include three MLS Cups (1996, 1997 and 1999), a U.S. Open Cup (1996), a CONCACAF Champions’ Cup (1998) and a InterAmerican Cup (1998).

Kelderman previously teamed-up with Curt Onalfo at the Kansas City Wizards, serving as an assistant coach for two and a half seasons. He helped lead the Wizards to the MLS Cup playoffs in each of his seasons there. Before joining Kansas City, Kelderman was an assistant coach at George Mason University. In 2004, he served as head coach of United’s U17 team and technical director for the Vienna Youth Soccer Club. As a player, he spent two seasons with D.C. United, playing in 42 regular season games (17 starts) in 1996 and 1997. He helped D.C. win the 1996 and 1997 MLS Cups and the 1996 U.S. Open Cup. After United, Kelderman spent a season each with the Miami Fusion (1998) and New England Revolution (1999). All told, he played in 81 MLS games (42 starts), totaling three goals and 14 assists. Kelderman played his collegiate career at the University of Virginia, where he won the 1989 NCAA National Championship. In 1985, he was a member of the U16 National Team that participated in the FIFA World Championships.

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Cristina Cruz,, (202) 587-5440