Jim Curtin and Ben Olsen high-five

With the departure of Ben Olsen from his position of head coach at D.C. United, Philadelphia Union manager Jim Curtin becomes the second-longest tenured coach in MLS behind Peter Vermes.


With the two clubs being so close to each other in proximity on the East Coast, a natural rivalry developed on the pitch, but Curtin has nothing but praise and respect for the now-former coach of D.C. Growing up less than 100 miles from each other in Pennsylvania, Curtin remembers looking up to Olsen as a young player and later as a coach.


“We did our pro license together, we've grown as friends over the years,” Curtin said in a Friday press conference. “There's no better person, first and foremost, there's no better leader, there's no better winner than Ben Olsen.”


It’s the end of an era for fans, the club, and MLS, as Olsen has been at the helm of the Black-and-Red since 2010, but for Curtin, it’s more than that.


“I say this with all sincerity, I'm not saying it as a joke — there should be a statue built outside of the stadium and you can't really say that for a league that is so young, you know to be at a club for 22 years and be kind of the face of it for so long …  coaches as players, you go through a lot of things on and off the field and stress that people will maybe never understand or feel unless you're in this position, and I have nothing but admiration and respect for everything that Ben stood for.


And yeah, he's a guy that I believe should there should be a statue outside of DC United stadium for because he's that special of a person.”