Ryan ‘The Kiwi Wall’ Nelsen, The Big Heart From A Small Land

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Anyone who is a fan of New Zealand National team or watched The Blackburn Rovers so closely, they can guess the name whom I am concerned today. He was not only a famous character in his nation but was quite a known character in English Premier League. Yes, I am talking about the former Toronto Fc Head coach Ryan Nelsen today on his 40th Birthday.

Early Life :
Nelsen was born in 1977 on this day at Christ church, New Zealand. After attending ‘Our Lady of the Assumption primary school’ and ‘St Thomas of Canterbury College’, he went to the United States to play for ‘Greensboro College’ in North Carolina in 1997. Then he was transferred to Stanford University where he played his final two years of college football. He was named Stanford’s Most Valuable Player as a junior and an NSCAA All-American as a senior while playing as a defensive midfielder. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in political science.

Career :
1. He started his career in The Christ Church Utd when he was just twenty. He scored 12 times in his 92 appearances being a defender.

2. DC united : Nelsen was drafted fourth overall in the 2001 MLS SuperDraft by D.C. United, with whom he spent four years in Major League Soccer (MLS). Nelsen was named team captain in 2003, replacing Marco Etcheverry, as well as winning the team’s Defender of the Year Award and being named to the league’s Best XI. Again, in 2004 after leading United to its fourth MLS Cup, he was named the Best XI. In four years in the MLS, Nelsen had seven goals and five assists in his 81 games.

3. Nelson came to Blackburn Rovers on january in 2005 on a free transfer. In the summer of 2005, after just six months at the club, Nelsen signed a new three-year contract after impressing manager Mark Hughes and helping to turn Blackburn’s defence into one of the toughest in the Premiership. In the 2005–06 season, Blackburn qualified for the UEFA Cup with a sixth-place finish, but Nelsen missed the last few games after breaking his foot in a 2–0 win at Charlton Athletic. Nevertheless, his performances since arriving in England prompted much interest from rival clubs including Portsmouth, whose bid for Nelsen was rejected by Blackburn.
It was just the beginning. From then, he never had to look back. He played their 7 years of his club career doing extra ordinary jobs. He scored 8 times, but played 172 games as Rovers.

4. Nelsen was signed by Tottenham Hotspur on a free transfer on 2 February 2012, to replace defender Sébastien Bassong, who joined Wolves on loan. He was given the number 33 shir. He made his debut for Tottenham against Newcastle United, when he replaced Ledley King in the seventy-fourth minute.It was a rough time for him.He made eight appearances scoring two goals.

5. Then he joined Queens Park Ranger in 2012. He scored his only goal against The Wigans in his 21 appearances for the club. It was announced on 22 January 2013 that Nelsen would play his last game for QPR against Manchester City at Loftus Road on 29 January and will join Toronto FC on 1 February.[16] He played his last match for Queens Park Rangers on 29 January in a 0–0 draw against English champions, Manchester City, and was given a guard of honour by his teammates after the game.

6. Nelsen made his New Zealand debut against Poland. He was part of the All Whites’ winning squad in the 2002 OFC Nations Cup, scoring the only goal of a 1–0 win over rivals Australia in the final. Nelsen captained the New Zealand U-23 squad for their first appearance at the Olympic Games against China. Although he was only available for the opening two matches as Blackburn had requested that he return in time to prepare for their opening Premier League game of the 2008–09 season against Everton. On 10 May 2010, Nelsen was named in New Zealand’s final 23-man squad to compete at the 2010 FIFA World Cup. He scored 7 times in his National jersey.

Coaching Career :

On 8 January 2013 Nelsen accepted an offer to become head coach of Major League Soccer side Toronto FC.. He started on 1 February in time for Toronto’s pre-season. Nelsen won his first game as a head coach in the home opener against Sporting Kansas City in a 2–1 victory. He was sacked, along with his assistants, in 2014[25] after winning three out of his last 13 matches.

Writer Nelsen :
He loves novels. He likes to write. With New Zealand based author Tony Smith he wrote the book ‘Road to the World Cup’.

Family :
He is happily married to Monica , the art director since 2005.

Award :
MLS Cup : 2004.
Uefa Intertolo Cup : 2007
OFC Nations cup : 2002, 08

He was not only a tactical defender he was the savior of his team. He scored to clinch the win at the vital times. He was the wall.
Happy Birthday Nelsen !