WASHINGTON – Just days after his team’s lopsided loss at the hands of Real Salt Lake, which handed D.C. United their first losing streak since early March, Ben Olsen sat down with media members at RFK Stadium.
The bulk of the questions, though, weren’t about United’s two-game slide. They were about Eddie Johnson’s behavior on social media in the hours that followed their most recent defeat.
Johnson lashed out at a handful of United fans who’d expressed their displeasure – often unconstructively – with his performance earlier that evening. One fan suggested that D.C.-area sports fans appreciate athletes who “hustle even when their production is down,” to which Johnson responded, “How about quality. You [expletives] have no soccer brains.” Another made a similar assertion, to which Johnson replied, “I’m not here to please your town.”
Olsen – a fiery presence on the field during his playing and even coaching days – met with the enigmatic forward before training on Tuesday. When asked about the meeting, the coach chose to keep the details of the conversation off the books. He did, however, offer a few thoughts about Johnson’s online demeanor.
"Eddie and [my] meetings are going to be our meetings, between us,” said Olsen. "But he’s got to react better to things that don’t go his way. I love the guy, but he’s gotta get better in a lot of areas.
"I don’t know a lot about [social media]. I don’t go on there. I did hear a little bit about it. I think that stuff is unacceptable as well."
Olsen also took the opportunity to address the DP forward's on-the-field performance on Saturday, in particular a controversial yellow card call that saw Johnson kick the ball at RSL defender Carlos Salcedo after the whistle. Precedent suggests that Johnson’s conduct could result in an additional suspension, and Olsen doesn’t disagree.
"Silly, silly play from him,” said Olsen. “To put his team at risk. He should’ve been thrown out and I’m sure we’ll see a suspension. It’s not good enough. I’m sure the decision will come out today, the sooner the better. We’ll go from there. We’ll adjust – this isn’t the first time I’ve had to adjust."
In a more lighthearted moment, Olsen revealed that he’d actually ventured onto Twitter several weeks ago, only to retreat off of it quickly, claiming he “doesn’t get it.”
"I was on it for four days,” he chuckled. "I was on it. And I erased it. It was starting to bring me in, and I erased it. I just don’t get it. I do not get it. I’m not against it, I think it seems like a wonderful tool for everyone.
"It was miserable. I kept clicking the button and hearing everybody’s opinions about themselves or others. It was in the last couple of weeks. It felt good. I erased it, and it felt great.“