Olsen: Welcome to my diary
Ben Olsen, a seven-year veteran midfielder for D.C. United, shares his thoughts once a week on the latest United match, soccer overall and anything else on his mind. His diary appears each week on www.dcunited.com.
As part of the redesign of the D.C. United website, I have been asked to contribute a weekly diary that can give you, the D.C. United supporter, an inside look at what's happening at RFK. I've always felt a special bond with our fans, so I'm excited to have this opportunity and I hope it will be informative and fun for you to read. Now, let's get down to business.
The season so far has been really exciting. The Freddy factor brought a lot of media hype, but I think we're past that now. The biggest difference between this team and the teams of the past couple of years, in my opinion, is that there's a completely different feeling around us now. We're playing in a different style and we're acting differently on and off the field. We may not have the best record in town right now, but I think we're as talented as anybody else out there. When you combine that with our work ethic and solid play, I think we're going to shoot for the stars.
We've got a lot of young players on our squad and they've been doing really well. These guys are like sponges; they just soak up everything that's going on around them. People have been saying I've got more of a leadership role this year, but it's not really any different than it has ever been. I'm more the type of person to lead by doing. If a young kid can look up to me and see me working hard and setting an example, I think that's the best type of teaching I can do.
We've still only won one game this year, and we've had some frustrating results. I was disgusted after last week's game that we didn't come away with three points. It was a really difficult pill to swallow because I thought for the first time this year we really had put together a solid 90 minutes. Unfortunately, we didn't convert enough chances and we paid for it at the end.
But at the same time, we're not the kind of team to dwell on it and we've moved on. We've been training hard this week to get ready for a tough game against Kansas City.They've got some real weapons and they've done well so far. We play similar attacking styles, and they are very fast and organized. I think we've got our hands full this weekend, but I'm expecting to win. I go into every game expecting to win and our team as a whole is the same way. Maybe we got away from that some in the past couple of years, but this season we all have faith in each other and expect to be successful.
We have a job to do on Saturday and we need to earn three points for ourselves and for you, the fans. You've stuck with us through some hard times, so I know we can count on your support. Hopefully we'll get the win and a thrust that can send us back to the glory days. That can only happen one game at a time, and we're ready to work on Saturday and get moving in the right direction.
Hope to see you all at RFK on Saturday, and I'll be back with more next week.
-Ben Olsen, #14
Editor's note: A unique Ben Olsen jersey, which was turned into a work of art by Olsen himself using markers and paints, is up for auction on eBay. Proceeds go to United for D.C., the charitable arm of D.C. United.