WASHINGTON, June 21, 2012 — For taking his team to the top of the Eastern Conference, Ben Olsen has been handed a big reward.
Major League Soccer has selected D.C. United’s head coach to lead the MLS All-Stars against UEFA champions Chelsea FC on July 25 at PPL Park, the home of the Philadelphia Union in Chester, Pa.
This is a huge honor for Olson, who is in his third year at United. The game is also convenient for Olsen. He and his staff will have a relatively short distance to travel to the venue and United has not play a league game on the weekend after the All-Star Game.
“This league has been a major part of my life both as a player and now as a coach, and it’s given me a lot,” said Olsen. “Ultimately, this recognition comes because of my team and my staff, but to represent the league on a big stage like this is a real privilege.”
Philadelphia Union interim team manager John Hackworth will assist Olsen, along with United’s technical staff of Chad Ashton, Pat Onstad and Sonny Silooy.
Originally, Philadelphia Union coach Peter Nowak was going to lead the MLS team, but Nowak was fired by the Union last week.
A native of Harrisburg, Pa., Olsen won eight total trophies as a player for United, including two MLS Cups (1999 and 2004). He was a five-time All-Star (appearing in the 1998 and 1999 matches). This season, he has led United to a 9-4-3 start to the 2012 campaign.
The game will be broadcast live on ESPN2 and TeleFutura, starting at 8:30 p.m.
For over 20 years John Haydon wrote a weekly soccer column for The Washington Times. He has covered two World Cups and written about Major League Soccer from the league’s inception in 1996.
Follow John on Twitter at @Johnahaydon
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