Ryan Nelsen

Ryan Nelsen

Football Biography
Football Biography Less

Ryan Nelsen

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Ryan William Nelsen, ONZM (born 18 October 1977) is a New Zealand footballer who plays for Blackburn Rovers. Nelsen captains the New Zealand national team, the All Whites. He joined Blackburn back in 2005 on a free transfer from D.C. United. Nelsen wears the number 6 jersey for both club and country.


Early life

Nelsen was born in Christchurch. After attending Our Lady of the Assumption primary school and St Thomas of Canterbury College, he moved to the United States to play for Greensboro College in North Carolina in 1997. After spending two years at Greensboro and leading The Pride to the National Collegiate Athletic Association Division III championship match, only to lose to Ohio Wesleyan University, he transferred to Stanford University where he played his final two years of college soccer. 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.

Club career

Christchurch United

Serendipitously, Nelsen - then 20 - was home for a semester's sabbatical from his university soccer scholarship with Greensboro College in the United States. He'd already had Three or Four seasons with Christchurch United before he went stateside.


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