Ben Olsen steps down as Washington Spirit president

Lizzy Becherano
Ben Olsen steps down as president of NWSL side Washington Spirit.
Ben Olsen steps down as president of NWSL side Washington Spirit. / Ira L. Black - Corbis/GettyImages

Ben Olsen has stepped down as president of the Washington Spirit after eight months on the job. 

He initially joined the NWSL side in September 2021, assuming the role after Steve Baldwin resigned as CEO following the dismissal of Richie Burke for violating the league’s anti-harassment policy. 

Olsen was hired to oversee the team’s business and sporting operations, before experiencing the team’s biggest highs and lows in history. 

During his time with the Spirit, Olsen oversaw the transition of majority ownership to Michele Kang and celebrated the club’s first NWSL title in November after defeating the Chicago Red Stars 2-1 in extra time. 

"Ben steered us through a tumultuous period and righted the ship. Ben's expertise and character allowed our players to keep their focus on the field and our staff members to keep their eyes on the road ahead,” Kang said in a statement.

"Over the last few months, he has played an instrumental role in the transition period leading up to the start of the regular season. We will all miss working with him."

Olsen made his move to the NWSL team one year after serving as longtime head coach of Major League Soccer side D.C. United. 

“The last eight months have been a challenging but very rewarding time for all of us at the Spirit,” Olsen said in a statement. “It’s been an honor to help steady the organization and contribute to bringing another championship to the city I love.”