Perhaps D.C. United head coach Ben Olsen won’t be moonlighting as a kicker for the XFL’s DC Defenders.
During the Defenders’ game Sunday at Audi Field against the St. Louis Battlehawks, Olsen attempted a 25-yard kick in between quarters. Olsen, now in his 11th season leading the Black-and-Red, went low and under the crossbar — great for soccer, not so much for the gridiron.
Olsen, ever competitive, told The Athletic's Pablo Maurer that he "doesn't want to talk about it." The XFL team shares the soccer-specific stadium with D.C. United, leading to cross-promotional opportunities.
Asked Ben Olsen whether he’d ever attempted a field goal before today. His response:— Pablo Maurer (@MLSist) March 8, 2020
“I don’t want to talk about it. 🤬” https://t.co/ZeInOwhYup
While Olsen’s field-goal attempt drew some jeers, he was quite the midfielder during his playing days. He earned 37 caps with the US men’s national team and logged 221 appearances for D.C. before ending his playing career.
Historically there have been some crossovers between kickers and MLS, with FC Dallas midfielder Tanner Tessmann recently bypassing playing football at Clemson to sign a Homegrown deal. Another famous case involves Josh Lambo, a longtime Jacksonville Jaguars (NFL) kicker who spent several years with FC Dallas after representing the US as a goalkeeper at the 2007 FIFA U-17 World Cup.
Olsen, however, has shown it's not as easy as it looks.