Ben Olsen reacts to a play against the New England Revolution Sept. 23. (Scott Taetsch-USA TODAY Sports)
Ben Olsen became the latest coaching casualty Thursday as he fired after a 10-year run as D.C. United head coach.
The team announced that the 43-year-old Olsen “will depart” as coach effectively immediately.
Assistant coach Chad Ashton became took over the reins as interim head coach.
Olsen, who had guided the team since 2010, coached the team into the postseason five of the past six seasons. In a statement, the team said that it was looking for a new role for Olsen in the organization.
United is mired at the bottom of the Eastern Conference with a league-worst 2-9-5 mark and 11 points.
“Ben has been a fabric of the D.C. United organization for more than two decades, including his role as head coach for the last ten years, and we are forever grateful for his contributions and leadership,” said United CEO and co-chairman Jason Levien said in a statement. “Over the course of his 22 years with the club, Ben has been a total professional and has represented this organization with incredible class and distinction. It is our sincere hope and belief that Ben will continue to have a big impact on the organization.”
D.C.’s latest defeat came at the hands and feet of New York City FC, which recorded a dominating 4-1 victory at Yankee Stadium Wednesday. NYCFC outshot United, 32-8, and enjoyed a 72 percent possession advantage.
Olsen is the third-longest tenured coach in MLS history, trailing only Sporting Kansas City’s Peter Vermes (366 games) and former Houston Dynamo head coach Dominic Kinnear (350). Olsen is at 334 games while compiling a 113-137-84 record.
“My overwhelming emotion right now is that I have been incredibly fortunate to be associated with this great club for 22 years,” Olsen said in a statement. No one gets that opportunity in professional sports, and I am so much richer for all the amazing experiences and relationships along the way. I will always be grateful. It is now time for a change. It is 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. I spent the last 22 years waking up every morning thinking about how I could try to make this club better. 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 want to thank everyone at the club, past and present, and all our fans for their support throughout this journey. I am very much looking forward to my next chapter and supporting the club I love.”