Toronto FC hires Ryan Nelsen as head coach

Toronto FC hires Ryan Nelsen as head coach

Published Jan. 8, 2013 11:35 a.m. ET

Toronto FC has hired its eighth coach in six years, veteran New Zealand defender Ryan Nelsen.

The center back will leave Queens Park Rangers to replace Paul Mariner, who took over 10 games into the 2012 season for the MLS club. Fran O'Leary also joins as assistant coach and director of player recruitment.

Toronto had a franchise-worst record last season, beset by injuries and a lack of depth.

The 35-year-old Nelsen played for Toronto president and GM Kevin Payne at D.C. United. He also spent time in England with Blackburn and Tottenham.


Nelsen was the captain of the New Zealand national team at the 2010 World Cup. He spent the second half of last season at Tottenham.