Nowak out as Ben Olsen Assumes All Star Reins


Ben Olsen (l) and his assistant Pat Onstad will be part of the new team

Following the dismissal of Peter Nowak at Philadelphia Union, MLS have replaced him as the coach for the All Star game against European Champions Chelsea.

DC United coach Ben Olsen will now take the helm.

Nowak was accused of talking to Scottish club Heart of Midlothian about their vacancy and then deny it when asked. However, he seems unlikely to reappear in Edinburgh.

Rumours in Scotland are that John McGlynn currently coach of First Division Raith Rovers may be the new Hearts coach.

MLS Release:

Major League Soccer has selected D.C. United Head Coach Ben Olsen to lead the MLS All-Stars against UEFA champions Chelsea FC on July 25 at PPL Park in Chester, Pa.

Serving as Olsen’s assistant coaches will be Philadelphia Union Interim Team Manager John Hackworth and the D.C. United technical staff of Chad Ashton, Pat Onstad and Sonny Silooy. The game will be broadcast live on ESPN2, TeleFutura, and in Canada on TSN and RDS starting at 8:30 p.m. ET.

“Ben Olsen has experience playing in All-Star Games and he has guided his team to one of the best records in MLS so far this season,” said Nelson Rodríguez, MLS Executive Vice President of Competition and Game Operations. “He and his staff also have a relatively short distance to travel and his club does not play a League match on the weekend after the All-Star Game. Adding John Hackworth at his side strengthens the group that will assemble and prepare our team for this important game.”

A native of Harrisburg, Pa., Olsen won eight total trophies as a player for United, including two MLS Cups (1999 & 2004). He was a five-time All-Star (appearing in the 1998 & 1999 matches), the 1998 MLS Rookie of the Year, the 1999 MLS Cup MVP, the 2003 USSF Humanitarian of the Year and was named to the MLS Best XI in 2007. Olsen took over the head coach position midway through the 2010 season and was officially named to the position on November 29 of the same year. This season, he has led the Black-and-Red to a 9-4-3 start to the 2012 campaign with the team currently sitting in first place in the Eastern Conference.

“This is a huge honor,” said D.C. United Head Coach Ben Olsen. “This League has been a major part of my life, both as a player and now as a coach, and it’s given me a lot. Ultimately, this recognition comes because of my team and my staff, but to represent the League on a big stage like this is a real privilege.”

Hackworth took the reins at the Union on June 13, after serving as Peter Nowak’s assistant since the club’s inaugural 2010 season. Hackworth previously spent two years as an assistant coach with the U.S. Men’s National Team under Bob Bradley, helping guide the squad to a first place finish in group play in World Cup Qualifying and a second place finish in the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup. Prior to joining the USMNT staff, Hackworth spent more than six years with the U.S. Under-17 Residency Program in Bradenton, Fla.


About Author

Steve is the founder and owner of Prost Amerika. He covered the expansion of MLS soccer in Cascadia at first hand. As Editor in Chief of, he was accredited at the 2014 World Cup Final. He is the former President of the North American Soccer Reporters Association/ Originally from Glasgow, he is a supporter of the Great Glasgow Alternative, Partick Thistle.

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