By HAYES CREECH
Toronto FC’s appointment of Ryan Nelsen raised plenty of eyebrows, not the least of which because of the fact it was unclear just when Nelsen would finish playing for Queens Park Rangers.
Nelsen put to rest fears of TFC starting the 2013 season without its coach on the sidelines on Tuesday when he confirmed that he will be leaving QPR and joining TFC on a permanent basis on Feb. 1.
Nelsen will arrive in Toronto on Feb. 1 on a permanent basis to begin the tall task of rebuilding Toronto FC for the 2013 MLS season.
“We had a talk and we needed to give QPR as much time as possible to bring a replacement or sort their things out,” Nelsen said during Toronto FC media day on Tuesday. “If they knew that I was leaving, it would’ve been hard in the transfer window—prices would’ve gone up, salaries would’ve gone up. We just wanted to be respectful to QPR in the transfer window.”
QPR manager Harry Redknapp will be without one of his key defensive stalwarts for his club’s fight to stay in the Premier League. Nelsen will be available for selection for the blue and white of QPR when they face MK Dons in the fourth round of the FA Cup and then reigning Premier League champions, Manchester City on January 29. Both matches will be at Loftus Road, QPR’s home.
Nelsen will now be faced with the challenge of making the transition from hard-nosed defender to head coach in a league full of intricacies foreign to any of the major European leagues. He’ll be hoping to have his team ready for its season opener at Canadian rivals, Vancouver Whitecaps on March 2nd.
What do you think of this development? See Nelsen having a good first season as head coach? Think Toronto FC can turn things around in 2013?
Share your thoughts below.