Today Major League Soccer announced Ben Olsen as the 2014 MLS Coach of the Year. Olsen helped D.C. United complete a worst-to-first season this year. United finished 2013 in last place in the league with a record of 3-24-7 and just 16 points. This season they finished first in the Eastern Conference with 14 more wins and 43 points better than a year ago, the greatest single-season turnaround in MLS history.
Olsen made some key additions during the offseason, acquiring Fabian Espindola, Eddie Johnson, Davy Arnaud, Bobby Boswell, and Sean Franklin. D.C. began the season with a rough start, not winning a game over the first month. The team traded for Chris Rolfe from the Chicago Fire and things began to change.
United lost only one of their next seven games as they began their climb to the top of the East.
Despite their finish in the regular season, D.C. bowed out of the playoffs in the Eastern Conference semifinals, falling 3-2 on aggregate to the New York Red Bulls.
Olsen finished ahead of the Seattle Sounders' Sigi Schmid, Columbus Crew SC's Gregg Berhalter, and FC Dallas' Oscar Pareja. He received 32.53% of the club votes, 42.22% of the media votes, and 28.41% of the player votes for a weighted total score of 103.16, finishing 55.92 points ahead of Schmid.
Schmid led the Sounders to the Supporter's Shield title, for the best regular season record. Seattle finished 20-10-4 and three points better than the LA Galaxy thanks to a 2-0 home win over Los Angeles in the final game of the year.
Berhalter completed an impressive turnaround as well for Crew SC, but had more to work with than Olsen. The Black and Gold finished with a record of 14-10-10 and climbed to third in the East thanks to an impressive run over final third of the season.
Pareja took over the club he played for in January of 2014 and led them to a return to the playoffs for the first time since 2011. They managed 54 points for the season, which helped them to fourth in the Western Conference.