Report: Former Sporting KC captain Nielsen in talks to be first coach of OKC Energy FC

Jimmy  Nielsen g.

Photo by ISIPhotos.com

By DAN KARELL

While Jimmy Nielsen ended his playing career following Sporting Kansas City’s MLS Cup title victory on Dec. 7, it seems that he could still be involved in soccer in America as soon as next season.

Oklahoma City Energy FC were announced as an expansion franchise in USL Pro last July, and according to a report in Sports Illustrated, Nielsen could become the club’s first head coach ahead of their inaugural season in 2014. The report also asserts that with Orlando City SC moving to Major League Soccer in 2015, Sporting KC would likely make Energy FC their USL Pro affiliated club in the future, starting with a partnership next season before a full switch in two years.

Both Sporting KC and Energy FC have not yet publicly commented on the report.

If Nielsen did become head coach, he would be the third former MLS player to be coaching in the third tear of U.S. Soccer, joining former Kansas City Wizards star Preki Radosavljevic (Sacramento Republic) and former San Jose Earthquakes, Chicago Fire, and Dallas Burn midfielder Justin Evans (Pittsburgh Riverhounds).

The report states that USL Pro is set to announce an expansion to Tulsa, Okla., creating an in-state rivalry within the league. The Tulsa team wouldn’t enter until the 2015 season.

In addition, the report claims that the MLS Reserve Division will come to an end following the 2014 season and that MLS clubs can either affiliate with an existing USL Pro club or start their own, and play their reserves and youth players in that league if they aren’t receiving regular playing time in MLS.

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What do you think of this report? Think Nielsen would do well as a head coach? Like the idea of a second USL Pro team in Oklahoma?

Share your thoughts below.

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12 Responses to Report: Former Sporting KC captain Nielsen in talks to be first coach of OKC Energy FC

  1. froboy says:

    *tier

    Fun to see the sport growing in new markets.

  2. Madden's Chin says:

    Wait, what? This is from the Onion, right?

  3. Phantom says:

    Someone better get a sewing machine, there’s a third TEAR in the fabric of American soccer.

  4. M Vann says:

    The White Puma has retired. Time for a new nickname. Since he’s headed to OKS can we call him Jimmy “The Oil Man” Nielsen. Has a decent ring to it — almost a mobster-esque feel.

  5. Dingus McDingle says:

    Is that man in the photo angry because he’s wearing ugly pink?

  6. matt says:

    I always like the nickname “Double Down”

  7. Kingsly Alexander says:

    Good for him. Supposing he has family and a house, he probably won’t have to relocate and can keep everyone settled where they are while still pursuing the nxt step in his career. Congrats to him

    • Matty says:

      IDK, thats a 5 hour trip from OKC to Kansas City with no direct flights anymore. Im sure they will have to relocate. With that said, Im more than thrilled if this happens since I am from OKC and have been waiting for a team for awhile.

    • Mike in Missouri says:

      Yeah, that’s at least a 5 hour drive, probably closer to 6. Have to move unless you’ve got a private jet.

      The only way the family wouldn’t have to relocate is if Topeka or Lawrence or St. Joseph became a PDL affiliate.