Although the timing of his firing was very curious, Ryan Nelsen’s fate as Toronto FC coach wasn’t sealed when he publicly shot back at Tim Bezbatchenko regarding the GM’s comments about the players needing to raise their game.
It was sealed in January of 2013 when then-club president Kevin Payne plucked Nelsen from the ranks of Queens Park Rangers, where he was still patrolling the defence as active player, and installed him as the Reds’ eighth coach in team history. This was doomed to fail right from the start.
History, of course, records Nelsen as the all-time leader in MLS wins among Toronto FC coaches. Take that statistic with a mountain—never mind a grain—of salt. His hiring was heralded by TFC as a bold move, but in fact it was a misguided showing of faith in the New Zealand international who they thought would grow into the job. It turned out to be a gross miscalculation.
Simply put, Nelsen shouldn’t have been hired in the first place.