United's Olsen hit with fine

By Steven Goff
Friday, October 1, 2010; D2

D.C. United interim coach Ben Olsen was fined $750 by MLS for comments that he made to match officials in the aftermath of a sideline commotion in the closing moments of last Saturday's 3-1 loss to the Houston Dynamo at RFK Stadium.

The fine is in addition to the automatic $500 penalty for being ejected, for a total of $1,250, a league spokesman confirmed.

Olsen and Dynamo Coach Dominic Kinnear were sent off after approaching one another and shaking hands. They insisted that they did not exchange angry words and that Olsen was simply apologizing for United defender Julius James's hard foul on Dominic Oduro. However, USSF referee supervisor Paul Tamberino said that "personnel got between them before anything happened. According to [the referees], it was more than just a friendly handshake."

Kinnear was not fined beyond the automatic $500 for being ejected.

Reacting Thursday, Olsen said: "I don't want to get into a back-and-forth with them - it's not important to me. It's over, it's done. But I know what happened. It's silly to even talk about it. I don't go shake hands with people I have animosity towards. I have always respected Dom. We have always had a close relationship. The whole thing was ridiculous, and the fact that I can't sit on the sidelines this weekend is beyond me, but these are the rules when you are ejected."

The tenacious former midfielder continued: "I have done things in this league that I have deserved red cards. I have raised my hand and said, 'Yup, I know what a red card is, I know what a suspension is, and I should've gotten one.' I am being fined for comments I made [to the officials] after I was thrown out, and I absolutely deserve that fine for my reaction. I've got to watch my mouth. I'm new to this."

MLS apparently did not take issue with Olsen's comments to reporters suggesting that referees should start holding news conferences to explain their decisions.

© 2010 The Washington Post Company