Ryan Nelsen: New Coach of Toronto FC

Ryan Nelsen? You mean the QPR player? Surely, that’s a headline mistake! Spoiler: it’s not.
by Sonja Missio   |   Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Red Dawn Rising - column on Toronto FC (TFC) & the Toronto Ontario soccer scene

I am not going to write about the Ryan Nelsen affair.

I tried to, I really did. But it only resulted in me breaking a keyboard key (the “tab” button isn’t really that important anyway).

I yelled at inanimate objects around my kitchen and spilled a half a cup of Nespresso – which only upset me more because Nespresso has stopped selling their Variations Grand Crus (not that they were any good this year anyway, but that’s not the point).

The point is: I just wasted a cup of coffee because Toronto FC makes poor decisions.

But I digress. After 30 minutes of trying to type out my feelings on the absolute idiocy and total stupidity that surrounds the Nelsen hiring, I gave up.

Actually, I came up with a new plan.

You see, I, unlike Toronto FC, think things through. I look towards the future. I don’t make rash decisions. I consider cause and effect.

Let me explain: I could have written the article I wanted to – the article full of swearing, denouncing the team and begging Montreal Impact President Joey Saputo to adopt me as a fan (that last one actually may have already happened).

But I didn’t.

Rather, I am going to save that article for next week after I have calmed down a bit. Or, at least, until after I find out Soccer Newsday’s article swearing policy.

Besides, I am currently recovering from the flu and I am not supposed to expend too much energy; the day after the Nelsen news broke, I came down with a horrible fever causing me to be bedridden for days. But before I got sick, I gave a quote to The Guardian and had my personal blog updated with some initial thoughts on the announcement (both of which can be read here).

I was to review those initial thoughts later. However, this week, I am going to calmly explain what has happened in Toronto because it is quite possible that you have absolutely no idea what I have been rambling on about so far, especially if you haven’t been keeping up with Toronto FC and/or MLS news. If only I had that luxury.  

I digress again; on to the article for this week, where I will give you the Coles Notes (or, Cliff Notes, for you Americans) to what has happened. Or, at the very least, try to.

Here it goes.

Over the last few months, the supporters of TFC have begged for a club president. This request was made right before Christmas, thanks to a wish list I sent Tom Anselmi asking for said new president.

Well, that’s what I naturally assumed happened.

Anyway, Maple Leaf Sports Entertainment, the group that owns Toronto FC, hired Kevin Payne for the new position and everyone was happy. Or at least briefly satisfied.

Payne gave his spiel on how great a city Toronto is (we know), how happy he is to be here (us too) and how the team is under review (thank God).

However, he then also assured fans that Paul Mariner would continue as head coach and that everyone else was under review. Payne did not so much as hint at looking to replace Mariner.

Then, last Monday, it was announced that Technical Director Bob de Klerk would be leaving Toronto FC. A short time later, it was announced that Mariner was also on his way out and would be replaced by former D.C. United captain and current Queens Park Rangers defender Ryan Nelsen.

That’s right. Toronto FC is now on its eighth coach, even though it has yet to start its seventh season.

To put it bluntly, instead of keeping his word on Mariner’s position – the only somewhat promise he has made to Toronto so far – Payne decided to hire a new coach with no warning.

So, I give to you the CV of Ryan Nelsen, Toronto FC’s new head coach:

- No coaching experience, as he has never coached before.

- This is because he is currently a player. For another team (QPR). In another league (English Premier League).

- And because he is currently a player, he will miss the MLS SuperDraft, pre-season training and at least three months of the beginning of the season.

- Therefore, the conclusion I have come to is that his only qualifications seem to be that he’s friends with Payne and is possibly a nice guy.

Look, I am trying to be as unbiased as possible here; the goal of this article is just to give you the facts. The above are the facts that have been presented to us so far.

I am going to give Nelsen a chance. Please understand that I have nothing personally against him.

Rather, I am against the quick and, quite frankly, stupid decision made by Toronto FC.

I am giving the club and Payne an extra week to sort themselves out and convince me that this is not just a new chapter in the book of moronic things Toronto FC does, despite none of their moronic things previously working in the past.

You’ll see how well that goes next week. 


Univ. of Guelph, Univ. of W. Ontario, Brock University
Club Domestic:
Toronto FC
Club Foreign:
Supported Udinese since birth, TFC was her own stupid decision; writing on her masochistic relationship with soccer started after. Doomed as a Canadian - Friulano - Swiss - Filipina. Searching for Juventini actually from Turin and running for FIFA Prez.