The MLS Ownership Group Refused to Allow First Team Coaches to View the Contract



Brenner scores 3 to beat D.C United, putting Cincinnati in MLS playoffs for first time in 22 years

With this season’s playoffs nearing, and the fact that D.C. United have a chance to win the U.S. Open Cup and earn a berth in the MLS Cup playoffs for the fifth time, manager Ben Olsen and assistant coaches Steve Ralston and George John have been at the center of many different controversies within the club’s hierarchy, and this week, one of those controversies, which we’ve discussed at length in the past, reared its ugly head yet again. The club’s ownership group, led by former United star and MLS commissioner Don Garber, sent the club’s first team manager a contract that required him to interview for a position with the first team management staff, and Ben Olsen and the other coaches were not permitted to view the agreement, at all, during this week’s team meetings.

Despite the fact that MLS has made it abundantly clear that it was their position to interview any and all candidates deemed suitable for the coaching position, and despite the fact that MLS has been clear that the club’s ownership group was completely within its rights to fire Ben Olsen, the club’s general manager, and the first team coach, who would be coaching the team’s first team next season, refused to allow their coaches to view the contract, and also refused to release the names of the candidates that United considered for the position. In response, the ownership group then unilaterally terminated the coach’s contract, which the team had not granted, without the players or players’ union (the union would later reject the ownership group’s termination request, saying that the players were to blame for the decision) having any voice in the matter.

On Thursday morning, coach Olsen addressed The Post, and while he didn’t criticize the front office, he did, however, agree that, as the decision makers in the front office, they should have the authority to make such decisions. “For the front office to think that they can unilaterally change the coach from a coaching perspective, because I won’t be coaching the first team next year, it’s a real concern to me…it’s something that I really believe in, that I want to make sure they do the right thing.

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