Join Now  | 
Home About Contact Us Privacy & Security Advertise
Soccer America Daily Soccer World Daily Special Edition Around The Net Soccer Business Insider College Soccer Reporter Youth Soccer Reporter Soccer on TV Soccer America Classifieds Game Report
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalk Soccer America Confidential Youth Soccer Insider World Cup Watch
RSS Feeds Archives Manage Subscriptions Subscribe
Order Current Issue Subscribe Manage My Subscription Renew My Subscription Gift Subscription
My Account Join Now
Tournament Calendar Camps & Academies Soccer Glossary Classifieds
D.C. United sacks Curt Onalfo
by Ridge Mahoney, August 4th, 2010 1:42PM
Subscribe to Soccer America Daily

TAGS:  d.c. united, mls


[MLS] This probably isn't what D.C. United fans expected and certainly not what they wanted when they clamored for the removal of former head coach Tom Soehn. In late December, United hired former D.C. player and ex-U.S. national team assistant coach Curt Onalfo to replace Soehn, whose record in league play was 36-31-25. The club fired Onalfo Wednesday and named assistant coach Ben Olsen to take over a team burdened with the league’s worst record at 3-12-3. 

“This was a difficult and painful decision,” United President and CEO Kevin Payne said. amp;ldquo;Curt is an outstanding person and a fine coach. This has certainly been a trying season, made more so by a number of factors outside of anyone's control. This decision is not about placing blame, but about looking forward. Recent performances have convinced us that we need to make a change at the top for the team to improve the remainder of this season, for 2011 and beyond.”

United plays Columbus in a U.S. Open Cup semifinal Sept. 1, so there’s something tangible for Olsen and the players to shoot for in what otherwise has been a disastrous season. Olsen, 33, a former U.S. international, spent most of his playing career with United before retiring last fall and taking a job as assistant coach. That he was regarded as the team’s spiritual leader during much of his tenure is mitigated by the inept team he inherits.

United has scored the fewest goals (12) and conceded the most (31) in MLS this season. It hasn’t won in the last six games and Academy product Andy Najar, 17, leads the team with three goals. Injuries have affected the team’s performance, but players added during the offseason – striker Danny Allsopp, midfielder Cristian Castillo, and goalkeeper Troy Perkins – didn’t provide the necessary upgrade in either quality nor results.

Some of Onalfo’s tactical and personnel decisions didn’t pan out. Moving Santino Quaranta from the wing to a central attacking midfield position failed, as did efforts to convert Rodney Wallace into an MLS-caliber left back. Wallace suffered a broken leg in June, thus depriving United of a very promising young player. Another in that category, Chris Pontius, has struggled through a painful frustrating sophomore slump.

The Olsen Era begins Saturday against the Revs at Gillette Stadium. One of the most likable, accomplished and determined men in league history is now in charge of a team far removed from its own glory days.

  1. Eric in DC
    commented on: August 5, 2010 at 5:49 p.m.
    Our offense was decent last year. Defense sucked. In response, the front office dismantled the offense and lleft the defense mostly in place. What did they think would happen?

Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now



Recent Soccer America Daily
Newcomers debut for U.S. U-17s boys in pair of wins    
In their first games since Coach John Hackworth named the 32-player roster for the fall semester ...
Video Pick: A fowl field invasion    
A duck's crash landing interrupted a Bulgarian league game despite goalkeeper Nikolay Bankov's best efforts to ...
What They're Saying: Political science professor Fabio Wanderley Reis    
"People are not feeling represented and candidates like [Joao Leite and Alexandre Kalil], with very little political ...
USL: Nashville SC hires SUM exec Jeske    
Court Jeske, who spent eight years at MLS and Soccer United Marketing as vice president, international ...
MLS: Brad Davis joins vets who are retiring    
Brad Davis, a six-time MLS all-star and two-time MLS champion, announced Sunday that he will retire ...
NASL Rewind: Rayo OKC surges in playoff race    
With one week left in the NASL regular season, Rayo OKC, the Oklahoma club that in ...
Video Pick: Kaka finishes with golazo    
Kaka's second MLS season also ended without a playoff bid, but the Brazilian superstar is a ...
MLS Power Rankings: Red Bulls finish on top    
FC Dallas took the Supporters' Shield by repeating its 60-point performance of 2015, but the New ...
What They're Saying: Jeff Agoos    
"I think the irony that people don't realize about Bruce is he is the most loyal ...
By the Numbers: MLS playoff teams since All-Star Game    
The MLS All-Star break isn't a "break" in the sense that the MLB All-Star Game is ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives