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Ben Olsen wins MLS Coach of the Year, Chris Pontius fourth in Comeback Player of the Year

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After one of the biggest turnarounds in MLS history, Ben Olsen wins MLS Coach of the Year.

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

On the same day that stadium votes are being held to determine the team's future, D.C. United won an honor for the season that just passed. Ben Olsen, after taking the worst team in MLS last year to first place in the Eastern Conference this year, won the Coach of the Year award by large margins. He won 35% of the club vote, 42% of the media vote, and 28% of the player vote, first in every category. He was far ahead of Sigi Schmid, Gregg Berhalter, and Oscar Pareja, who came in second, third, and fourth respectively.

This award could be partially shared with Dave Kasper, but Olsen himself has matured as a coach. His ability to integrate a new defense, midfield, and offense should not be overlooked, nor should his ability to change throughout the season as players went out with injury. There was never any real question about who would win this award, and the margin of victory proved that.

In surprising news, Chris Pontius was actually the fourth place choice for MLS Comeback Player of the Year, after spending all of the preseason and most of the regular season out with injury. He actually beat the third place player, Stefan Frei, in the vote of the players (by a rather large margin). Rodney Wallace won the award, followed closely by Charlie Davies. Congrats to both Olsen and Pontius!