The MLS Has Made It


Ben Olsen as media maven, Anti-Beckham, tireless worker, wedding ceremony performer, and Bride pic proof that the MLS has made it….

I always used to say that you’d know the MLS had made it when you started to see beer and car commercials on Fox Soccer Channel and GOL TV. You know, ads for Bud and Benz rather than the much loved and becoming but kitschy ads like the Sauna Twin, Kick Medic, and the Perfect Push Up.

Ben Olsen Highlights

Now there’s another sign that the MLS is an accepted part of the American sports world, Ben Olsen’s wedding pictures in Bride magazine. Yeah, Ben Olsen’s wedding pictures in Bride magazine are a signal and proof that the MLS has ascended into the American lexicon of sport. This isn’t Beckham wearing his under wear in an ad hovering over an LA freeway ramp, this is Ben Olsen – the now missing, injured, little engine that could for DC United. I’m just saying that when players who might not be the league’s stars start having their wedding pics in the glosses then the league is well on way.

There are some other potential media maven MLS players, Jimmy Conrad, Bobby Boswell, Dwayne De Rosario, Craig Waibel, and others I’m sure. But the media maven is someone who doesn’t seek the camera it just gravitates towards them for some reason.

But this isn’t’ his first foray into the media world, he’s a rising star in the soccer ad world, or at least his wife is or should be. Is that his wife in the Dick’s Sporting Goods commercial? Props to Ben if it is – hard to say exactly from the wedding pics and the commercial, can’t discern clearly.

I feel sort of paparazzi like in even mentioning the wedding pictures in some ways, but I’ll have to give a hat tip to The Offside Rules for discovering pointing me to the link – they can take part of the blame – it’s all good fun though of course. Where not chasing down cars and surreptitiously snapping pictures as couples come out of a restaurant.

I guess the real proof is when the WAG culture of the EPL and Europe starts moving stateside – with the MLS pulling in more fans as their interest spreads from what’s going on while their on the pitch to what the players do off, who they’re seeing and who they’re marrying.

Ben’s wedding even had a pre-wedding football match, again props to Ben, he knows how to do things in style:

Authentic Jamaican activities helped the 100 guests get a feel for the island. Three days before the December celebration, Ben, a professional soccer player for the D.C. United team, organized a match in town that pitted locals against wedding guests. The rehearsal dinner was held at a jerk chicken shack, where family and friends gathered at picnic tables as a bonfire blazed nearby.

But Olsen has become sort of the fan favorite of the league. Or how do you put this? He’s sort of the everyman’s spokesman. He’s the tireless worker, the jokester, the genuine footballer who’s trying to play the right way. And with this or because of this, he’s popping up and drawn in by the media, partly because of his personality, partly because of his style of play (tirelessness), and partly because he just engages with people and performs wedding ceremonies. What’s the point? The MLS has their sort of anti-Beckham or the working man’s Beckham. Here’s a few more of the media draws to Ben Olsen:

To top it all off, Ben Olsen can really play this game, let’s hope his career hasn’t come to an end due to his injury.