Ex-DC United coach Ben Olsen named club president of NWSL's Washington Spirit

Former D.C. United head coach Ben Olsen has been named club president of the NWSL's Washington Spirit, the club announced Thursday.

A longtime staple of the D.C. soccer scene, Olsen had been working as an executive adviser to D.C. United since departing his longtime role as the club's manager in 2020. Olsen did a decade-long stint in that role after also establishing himself as a mainstay with D.C. in a playing career that spanned 221 MLS appearances from 1998-2009.

“I have loved being part of the D.C. United family for over 20 years, and I will always be grateful to the club that has given me so much,” Olsen said in Thursday's release. “However, it is time for a new challenge for me and the opportunity to help grow the Spirit, soccer in the city I love, and the women’s game was too great to pass up. The Spirit squad is an exciting team, and the NWSL is on the rise. I am eager to get to work building on that momentum to help bring another title to DC and deepen our responsibility to the DMV community and our fans.”

Per the release, Olsen's role as club president will have him "oversee all day-to-day operations, driving the development of the team’s business and sporting operations, and the overall effort to enhance the club’s culture and identity."

“We are proud to bring Ben Olsen into the Spirit family," Spirit owner Steve Baldwin said in a statement. "Ben has been a legendary player, coach, and executive in the D.C. soccer world. He is truly a soccer icon in the Nation’s Capital. As importantly, he has been an engaged community builder in the DMV. The Spirit will benefit from his energy, ideas, leadership, and history competing on the international stage and winning championships for D.C., as we pursue another for the Spirit.”

The Spirit are currently sixth on the NWSL table with a record of 6W-5L-5D and 23 points from 16 matches.