DC United

For D.C. United coach Ben Olsen, societal change more important than everything else right now

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For D.C. United coach Ben Olsen, societal change more important than everything else right now

During this time of protest, which reached its tipping point due to the murder of 46-year-old black man George Floyd in Minneapolis, D.C. United Coach Ben Olsen has used his time away from coaching to understand just what's going on in society while also educating his children in the process.  

“My parental hat comes on quickly in these times and making sure my kids have some type of grasp of what’s going on and why,” Olsen told the Washington Post

"It’s so complex talking about the systematic failure in this country that’s boiled over to these moments. It’s a tough one for me to truly grasp because of my privilege," Olsen continued.

"I’ll say this: The conversations I have to have with my [white] children are a lot easier than the conversations some of my [black or Hispanic] neighbors have to have with their children." 

Olsen, 42, and his wife, Megan, have three children -- ages six to 11. And even for a professional coach who has to manage and teach 14 very different players and personalities every day, discussing what's going on in society with his children is no easy task.  

“I don’t know if I am able to explain it to them in the right way," Olsen said.  "It’s such a f---ed up time, man.”

In the midst of everything going on, MLS has finally approved a proposal that' will allow the league to avoid a lockout and return to play the 2020 season in a different form at the Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World, ESPN reported Wednesday afternoon. However, don't expect that to completely shift Olsen's attention from the current social climate. 

“Soccer is, in a lot of ways, on the back burner to the virus and what is going on in my neighborhood and these struggles in our community,” Olsen said. “I’m not sure how to process 2020."

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MLS food for players in Orlando bubble might not be what you expect

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With teams arriving in Orlando for the beginning of the MLS is Back Tournament that starts on July 8, players are excited for the opportunity to once again take the field and compete. However, there is one detail that doesn't have many too excited: the food.

On Tuesday, Toronto FC defender Omar Gonzalez, who played collegiately at the University of Maryland, shared a picture of the meal he was given in Orlando. Despite the description sounding appetizing, the sandwich looked anything but that, and it was accompanied by a rather unimpressive side of potatoes and a banana.

Gonzalez's teammate Eriq Zavaleta also shared a picture of his meal, which somehow looked even worse.

The photos are reminiscent of the infamous Fyre Fest disaster that promised fine-dining cuisine and instead provided guests with bread and a piece of cheese. The MLS meals don't look that bad, but it is surprising to see the athletes being given such unappetizing meals as they prepare for a month-plus of intense soccer games.

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The MLS is Back Tournament that begins on July 8 will mimic a FIFA World Cup with teams competing in group and knockout round stages with the chance to earn a spot 2021 Scotiabank Concacaf Champions League and win prize money. Hopefully, the events on the field go smoother than what is happening in the kitchen.

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DC United announce Group Stage schedule for MLS is Back tournament

DC United announce Group Stage schedule for MLS is Back tournament

Major League Soccer released Thursday the schedule for the Group Stage of its upcoming MLS is Back tournament, which will include three matches featuring D.C. United.

DCU, which was placed in Group C, will take on Toronto FC on July 10 at 8 p.m. ET in its first match back since the season was suspended due to coronavirus. The team will also play against the New England Revolution (July 16 at 8 p.m.) and Montreal Impact (July 21 at 10:30 p.m.) for the right to qualify for the knockout round that begins July 25.

Each of the three matches in the Group Stage will count toward the regular season standings. The top two teams from Group C will advance to the knockout round, which last four days before the quarterfinals (July 30-Aug. 1), semifinals (Aug. 5-6) and final (Aug. 11).

The San Jose Earthquakes were the first team to head to Orlando for the tournament, with other clubs heading to the Disney World complex throughout this week. All 26 teams will practice and compete at the ESPN complex a few miles away.

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DCU began practicing again at Audi Field on June 15, one day after a player tested positive for coronavirus.

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