So that wasn’t so bad after all. While we all had a little chuckle and shook our heads when we heard new Toronto FC head coaching hire Ryan Nelsen was still obligated to England’s Queen Park Rangers, now comes news that he will leave West London after QPR’s game against Manchester City on Jan. 29.
The center-half has been a consistent choice for Harry Redknapp in the middle of QPR’s defense, and with a contract that runs through the end of the season, it was unclear when the 35-year-old would be allowed to begin his stewardship of the Reds.
Now, as reported here by the CBC, Nelsen’s set to join Toronto on Feb. 1:
There was speculation Nelsen would have to finish the season in England, where QPR is in last place in the Premier League and fighting to avoid relegation to a lesser league.
“I just had to be respectful to my club, and obviously the media is pretty ruthless, the fans are pretty ruthless, so it just had to be handled properly,” Nelsen said. “It was always going to happen, once we sat down with QPR and had an adult conversation, and that’s been done.
“I’m just really looking forward to properly being here full-time.”
Nelsen will join the team Feb. 1 in Orlando to continue training camp in the warmth of the Sunshine State.
Even better, Nelsen’s thoughts on the effect his departure will (or should) have on his soon-to-be old team:
“I’m 35-and-a-half, if they’re relying on me to get them out of situation like that, then they’re in a bit of trouble,” he said laughing. “They understood when I came in that I’ve had job offers before in coaching, and they knew I was going to go at some stage.”
In related news, Nelsen’s also called time on his international career, answering another question posed by his surprise appointment. The New Zealand captain had made 49 appearances for the All Whites but recently informed head coach Frank van Hattum that he has decided to walk away:
“When you’re not enjoying the playing side as much as other aspects of football, you know it is time to move on. That time is now and I want to commit all my energies into my coaching career with Toronto FC,” he said.