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Tuesday 08 January 2013

Nelsen to leave QPR for manager role in MLS

New Zealand defender poised to quit Loftus Road to take charge of MLS side FC Toronto

Ryan Nelsen scored his only goal for QPR in the 2-2 draw with Wigan Athletic

Queens Park Rangers defender Ryan Nelsen is to leave the club after agreeing to take over as manager of Major League Soccer side FC Toronto.

The 35-year-old New Zealander, who has impressed for Rangers since joining from Tottenham Hotspur in the summer, will talk with the club about when he can take up his new role.

"He has requested to enter dialogue with QPR boss Harry Redknapp to discuss when he will join up with his new club," read a statement on the club's official website.

His contract with QPR expires at the end of June and the club say he will be available for the Barclays Premier League clash with Tottenham on Saturday.


Nelsen made his name in the MLS during a four-year spell with DC United before he joined Blackburn Rovers in 2005.

He made 172 League appearances for Blackburn Rovers before being released at the end of January this year and was quickly snapped up by Redknapp, who was then manager at Spurs.

Nelsen, who captained New Zealand at the 2010 FIFA World Cup and London 2012 Olympics, left Spurs this summer to join former Rovers manager Mark Hughes at QPR.

Nelsen has been a mainstay of the defence this season, making 18 League appearances and scoring one goal, which came in the 2-2 draw against Wigan Athletic on 8 December. For Blackburn he scored eight League goals.

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Key Points

  • Ryan Nelsen is to leave QPR to take up managerial role
  • 35-year-old agrees to take charge of MLS side FC Toronto
  • Defender will now discuss with manager Harry Redknapp about when he will leave