Energy FC names Nielsen head coach, adds Sporting KC as MLS affiliate

Jimmy Nielsen

Photo by ISIPhotos.com

By DAN KARELL

Jimmy Nielsen won’t have much time to relax during the first few weeks of his retirement from a long playing career.

The former Sporting Kansas City captain and goalkeeper was named the first-ever head coach of Oklahoma City Energy FC, an expansion franchise beginning play in USL Pro next season. It’s the first coaching experience of any kind for the 36-year-old Nielsen, who played his last game as a professional in Sporting Kansas City’s penalty kick shootout victory against Real Salt Lake in the MLS Cup final on Dec. 7.

“My family and I are excited to take on this new challenge and I look forward to the start of my coaching career in Oklahoma City,” Nielsen said in an official statement. “To remain a part of the Sporting Kansas City family and to take some of what I have learned from all of my coaches over the years, including Peter Vermes and staff, is an opportunity I embrace.”

In addition to Nielsen joining Energy FC, the club announced that it will be one of two official affiliates for Sporting KC in 2014, along with Orlando City, which had success acquiring the likes of Dom Dwyer and Jon Kempin on loan as they went on to win the 2013 USL Pro title. Per terms of the agreement, Sporting KC will loan at least two players to Energy FC next season.

Once Orlando City moves to Major League Soccer in 2015, Energy FC will become the sole affiliate of Sporting KC.

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What do you think of this news? Surprised to hear Nielsen was hired for the job? Think the Energy should have found someone with coaching experience? Who do you expect to see loaned to Energy FC next season?

Share your thoughts below.

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9 Responses to Energy FC names Nielsen head coach, adds Sporting KC as MLS affiliate

  1. Ian says:

    He and his family have really embraced the US; the Midwest in particular. Congrats to Jimmy.

  2. Oklahoma City and Kansas City really aren’t similar places… especially given that Jimmy Nielsen resided in a condo on the Country Club Plaza in Kansas City, a mock-Sevillan yuppy-friendly outdoor mall, surrounded by beautiful parks and the local university.

    Oklahoma City is, well, another story. With all that said, good luck to the Nielsen’s, it will truly be interesting to see what happens in 2014 with SKC and Orlando City’s partnership.

    In my opinion, the SKC-Orlando City partnership is toast as of today.

    • Karlthewonderyak says:

      Actually it’s pretty clear what will happen with the SKC-Orlando City. This year SKC had to send at least 4 there. Next year they are sending at least 2 to Orlando City and at least 2 to OKC. In 2015, Orlando City will be in MLS.

    • WeatherManNX01 says:

      The SKC-Orlando City partnership was toast the moment the Lions were accepted into MLS. Even if it’s not this year, Orlando City is going to be looking at building their own MLS roster, and the partnership doesn’t mean as much this coming season. SKC is just making a move now rather than wait a year to see who else is left.

  3. yankiboy says:

    I don’t have any idea what kind if coach he will make but the signing is making me take Energy FC more seriously.

    NASL’s OKC club better come strong when it starts playing because right now it looks like they are going to have some serious catching up to do…

  4. Stracho says:

    Is Energy FC the worst team name ever? I didn’t think it was possible to do worse than NYRB.

    • T Boone says:

      Actually, it’s not. You know, since a large percentage of the economy in Oklahoma is based on oil/natural gas. The stuff that makes energy.

      And news flash, that’s not a recent development.

  5. Bellus Ludas says:

    We are seeing a major change in the soccer landscape…this sort of thing will gain momentum. Now that the pyramid is filling in below MLS things will start moving fast.

    I suggest we will see 10-15 new USL Pro teams over next 3 years and affiliations with Regional U23 teams will proliferate. Smart youth clubs will partner quickly!

    • Joe Timbres says:

      Hopefully! Timbers need to take Sacramento and corner the NoCal market stat. Already have Medford and Eugene which are soccer hotbeds as well as So Washington and of course Portland Metro. That is a crap ton of land for the geographically challenged. I love this indeed good sir.