Ben Olsen leaves NWSL’s Spirit after 8 months as president

Olsen Front (Getty)
Ben Olsen became club president for the Washington Spirit after spending 10 years as the head coach of D.C. United. (Getty Images/Rob Carr)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Ben Olsen left the National Women’s Soccer League’s Washington Spirit on Monday after eight months as club president that included a championship.

Olsen was hired by the Spirit in September, about a year after he left D.C. United following a playing and coaching career there.

Olsen assumed the role with the Spirit in October, when Steve Baldwin resigned as CEO and managing partner of the team after coach Richie Burke was fired for violating the league’s anti-harassment policy.

Olsen helped oversee the transition of majority ownership to Michele Kang and was there for the Spirit’s first NWSL title in November, when the club beat the Chicago Red Stars 2-1 in extra time.

“Ben steered us through a tumultuous period and righted the ship,” Kang said in a statement released by the Spirit on Monday. She officially took control of the team at the end of March.

Olsen played for D.C. United from 1998 to 2009 and took over as head coach in 2010. He was the 2014 MLS Coach of the Year.

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