Lambe, Hall await plans of new Toronto manager
Reggie Lambe and Freddy Hall’s future at Toronto FC could be uncertain after the Major League Soccer club hired Queen’s Park Rangers defender Ryan Nelsen as their new coach yesterday.
Lambe was one of the few bright sparks in the Canadian club’s campaign last year as they finished with a franchise-worst 5-21-8 record.
Goalkeeper Hall was signed mid-season after being released by English League Two club Northampton Town.
He played his first game for Toronto on August 23 against Columbus Crew but only played a handful of games afterwards.
The Royal Gazette late last year he was hopeful he would be in the roster when the 2013 season begins.
Lambe, who was formerly with English Championship side Ipswich Town, was regular first team player throughout the season
Both players were brought in by former coach Paul Mariner, a good friend of Bermuda Hogges owner Paul Scope, but it remains to be seen what the veteran New Zealand player does with the current squad.
According to an Associated Press report yesterday, there is some question about when Nelsen would be free to start his new position.
Nelsen remains under contract with QPR, who want him to remain on the field to help their relegation battle in England's Premier League.
Toronto president and general manager Kevin Payne acknowledged the circumstances were unusual but said he was willing to put up with them to secure Nelsen's services
"It's not an ideal situation. I'd love it if Ryan was able to start full-time tomorrow or today," Payne said. "But we understand the situation. And frankly one of Ryan's qualities that I appreciate so much is his sense of responsibility. And his understanding he needs to fulfill his (QPR) obligation."
Nelsen, the eighth coach in six years for Toronto FC, played for Payne at DC United. He also spent time in England with Blackburn Rovers and Tottenham Hotspur.
"Ryan wouldn't be the person that I know he is if he just walked away from QPR at a time when they're in a critical situation," Payne said. "So again, it's not a perfect situation but it's one that we will deal with."
Fran O'Leary, the assistant coach and director of player recruitment, will lead the team in Nelsen's absence.
As for QPR, the club acknowledged Nelsen's new position in Toronto while noting he remains on their roster.
"Nelsen is under contract with QPR until June 30, 2013, however, he has requested to enter dialogue with QPR boss Harry Redknapp to discuss when he will join up with his new club," the London club said in a statement.
"In the meantime, Nelsen will be available for QPR’s Barclays Premier League fixture against Tottenham Hotspur this weekend."
QPR finish their league schedule on May 19 at Liverpool.
Toronto, who open their camp this month, kick off the 2013 season on March 2 in Vancouver.
Nelsen was the captain of the New Zealand national team at the 2010 World Cup. He spent the second half of last season at Tottenham.