D.C. United manager Ben Olsen doesn’t need any more challenges; turning around a team that finished with the worst record in the league in 2010 is an unenviable task on its own. But now, at the age of 33, Olsen also takes his seat in the record books as the youngest head coach in MLS history.
Of the 10 youngest full-time head coaches in the 15-year history of MLS, only three registered winning records in their first full season in charge. All three were 36 years old: Dave Dir (1996), Frank Yallop (2001) and Steve Morrow (2007).
Of those three, Yallop put in the best rookie performance as a manager, finishing a fairy-tale season by taking the San Jose Earthquakes to their first ever MLS title. United went 6-20-4 last season, making a possible repeat of Yallop’s success a tall order for Olsen.
10 Youngest Full-Time Managers in MLS History:
33 YRS OLD: Ben Olsen (D.C. United) — 2011 first full season
34 YRS OLD: Jason Kreis (Real Salt Lake) — 6-13-7 in 2007
36 YRS OLD: Dominic Kinnear (San Jose Earthquakes) — 9-10-11 in 2004
36 YRS OLD: Dave Dir (Dallas Burn) — 17-15-0 in 1996
36 YRS OLD: Steve Morrow (FC Dallas) — 13-12-5 in 2007
36 YRS OLD: Frank Yallop (San Jose Earthquakes) — 13-7-6 in 2001
37 YRS OLD: Curt Onalfo (Kansas City Wizards) — 11-12-7 in 2007
37 YRS OLD: Brian Quinn (San Jose Clash) — 7-10-0 in 1997
38 YRS OLD: Mike Jeffries (Dallas Burn) — 10-11-5 in 2001
38 YRS OLD: Walter Zenga (New England Revolution) — 10-20-0 in 1999