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Nelsen set to leave QPR, join Toronto FC as coach on Feb. 1

Current QPR defender Ryan Nelsen will play his final game for the club on Tuesday, before permanently joining Toronto as head coach at the beginning of next month.

TORONTO -- The date is finally set.

After much discussion on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean, Queens Park Rangers defender Ryan Nelsen has worked out an agreement that will see him feature one last time for the Premier League side before hanging up the boots and permanently joining Toronto FC as its head coach on Feb. 1. The arrangement puts an end to speculation as to whether the New Zealand international would see out the duration of his contract with QPR.

Nelsen announced the details of his EPL departure at a preseason media event held by TFC on Tuesday. The Kiwi will remain in Toronto through the rest of the week, returning to England ahead of QPR's match versus Manchester City on Jan. 29. He will then permanently join Toronto as its head coach, a role he's been doing by proxy since he was unveiled as the MLS club's new bench boss earlier this month.

"We had a talk, and we needed to give QPR as much time as possible to bring in a replacement or sort things out," Nelsen told reporters, adding that he didn't want to undermine QPR's bargaining power in the current transfer window by revealing his earlier-than-expected depature before this week.

"Prices would have gone up [for QPR] and salaries would have gone up," he explained.

In addition to Nelsen finalizing a timeline for his permanent arrival at TFC, the club also announced Tuesday that former Canadian international goalkeeper Pat Onstad has been hired as the team's chief scout and manager of football partnerships.

Onstad was most recently with D.C. United as a goalkeepers coach after retiring from his playing career, and the Vancouver native joins TFC's staff immediately.

Toronto opened its preseason camp on Jan. 19. Its first match of the 2013 MLS campaign is on March 2 in Vancouver against the Whitecaps.

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