Ben Olsen is no longer searching himself and his coaching staff for answers. Players of D.C. United be warned, your coach is on the warpath.
“It is on the players now. I am going to put them under a microscope. We’ll see if that works because they were prepared [Sunday],” Olsen told the Washington Post. “I have looked at myself and now I am going to hold [the players] to very, very high standards. If it’s not working, we will make changes.”
So obviously a 1-5-1 start is not sitting pretty with Olsen and his staff, but what about the powers that be at D.C. United? “Ben Olsen is not going anywhere,” General Manager Dave Kasper said. “Ben has a been handed a tough card with a lot of injuries and he has had to change lineups.”
The dreaded vote of confidence. Great.
Following the 3-2 defeat to I-95 rivals Philadelphia on Sunday, United sit bottom of the Eastern conference with just one win from seven. Olsen has a veteran squad trying to turn things around, but they’ve been hampered with the injury of young attacker Nick DeLeon and 2012 MLS All-Star Chris Pontius’ lack of consistency.
United have the individuals to win games, DeLeon when he returns, Pontius, captain Dwayne De Rosario, Lionard Pajoy, young Brazilian DP Rafael, the list goes on. But small defensive errors have cost United big so far. 2-0 down after 11 minutes on Sunday against the Union, they fought back admirably to narrowly lose.
But if they keep putting themselves in situations like that, this rough patch Olsen’s men are having will elongate until the fall. And nobody wants that.
USMNT youngster Bill Hamid has been the only player to cover himself in any glory so far in 2013. And that’s because the ‘keeper has been working overtime due to lackluster defending. Only New York and Chicago have conceded more than D.C. and if Hamid wasn’t on song it could be much more.
Things can only get better for United and Olsen. Once a defense first approach returns, United should flourish. But like Olsen said, “If it’s not working, we will make changes.” You’ve been warned, guys.