NWSL Spirit hire DC United legend Ben Olsen as new president

The NWSL Washington Spirit named longtime DC United player and coach Ben Olsen the club’s new President, and the hire comes "at a turbulent time for the Spirit," according to Des Bieler of the WASHINGTON POST. Former Spirit coach Richie Burke stepped down last month amid accusations from former players that he "verbally and emotionally abused them." The club is in the "midst of a struggle for control between two co-owners, Y. Michele Kang and CEO Steve Baldwin." Kang’s name did not "appear in Thursday’s announcement." Olsen will "oversee day-to-day operations of the club," while it is "unclear whether the Spirit’s president of sporting operations, Larry Best, will remain in that role" (WASHINGTON POST, 9/3). THE ATHLETIC's Pablo Maurer wrote this is a "curious hire," as Olsen has "no experience in the women’s game and no experience as an executive." However, Olsen has "a firm grasp on the market and its fans." He is a "DC soccer institution and is widely liked and respected by many fans in the area" (, 9/2).

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