Head to Head: Houston's Dom Kinnear vs. DC's Ben Olsen
As players, Dominic Kinnear and Ben Olsen were pretty similar: quick, cerebral, technically sound, gritty.
As managers, they still resemble each other. In a decade of coaching, Kinnear's feistiness, tactical effectiveness, and motivational efforts have turned the Dynamo into an MLS Playoff juggernaut — that team no one wants to play in the postseason. The up-and-coming Olsen, as his players will tell you, wears his heart on his sleeve, yet his fiery nature obscures a tactical intelligence that he doesn't get enough credit for.
On Sunday, the veteran squares off against the playoff rookie, in the second leg of the MLS Eastern Conference Championship (4 pm ET, NBC Sports Network, live chat on MLSsoccer.com) at RFK Stadium. The Dynamo hold a 3-1 aggregate edge in the series, but who holds the edge between the coaches?
You decide. Tell us what you think in the comments below.
|MLS regular-season record||
|MLS playoff record||
|4-1-1||Head to head||1-4-1|
|3||MLS Cup final appearances||0|
|0||MLS Cup titles as a player||2|
Wade Barrett (3 MLS Cups)
Steve Ralston (all-time assist leader)
|MLS legends on coaching staff||
Pat Onstad (3 MLS Cups)
Josh Wolff (1 MLS Cup, 80 career goals)
|Glasgow, Scotland||Place of birth||Harrisburg, Pa.|
|Winning MLS Cup 2007 title, putting away any doubts that the '06 title was a fluke and cementing Kinnear's reputation as a masterful coach||Defining moment||Coaching D.C. past the NY Red Bulls in Eastern Conference Semifinal with 1-0 win in the snow-delayed second leg, validating Olsen's heart-on-his-sleeve style|
|Robert Cray, Thin Lizzy, Metallica's "Unforgiven"||Musical tastes||Talk radio. Though rumor has it he used to like the Arctic Monkeys|
Kinnear in 1994
Olsen in 1999
|"I'm no catwalk model here. I'll probably make a good shirt look bad. So the polo shirt is the easy way for me to go." — July 16, 2012 episode||
Classic quote from
ExtraTime Radio podcast
|"Would I like to coach this team next year? Yeah. I would. I’m more comfortable every day in that role.” — Sept. 13, 2010, episode, while he was still interim coach|