Jimmy Nielsen

Jimmy Nielsen
Jimmy Nielsen
Sporting Kansas City
Real Name: Jimmy Nielsen
HT: 6' 3" WT: 200
Age: 38 (08/06/1977)
Birthplace: Aalborg, Denmark
Hometown: Aalborg, Denmark

The 2012 MLS Goalkeeper of the Year and Best XI selection, Nielsen is a two-time MLS All-Star. Nicknamed the White Puma, Nielsen played in England for Millwall and Leicester City and in his native Denmark for AaB Aalborg and Vejle prior to signing with KC in February 2010. Named team captain in 2012, Nielsen has become the MLS all-time leader in goals against average with more than 100 MLS matches played for the club. His 90 consecutive complete MLS games rank him second all-time. His autobiography, Welcome to the Blue Heaven, was released in 2013.

2013: MLS: Started and played every minute of the regular season for the second consecutive year. Led MLS with 17 wins and a 0.88 GAA. His 546-minute shutout streak in MLS play is the longest of 2013 and fifth longest in MLS history. His shutout streak ranks second in Kansas City history behind Tony Meola's 681-minute streak during the 2000 season. Nielsen's 13 shutouts in 2013 were second-best in the League and fifth most for a goalkeeper all-time. Sporting KC's win over Real Salt Lake on July 20 put Nielsen at 50 wins and moved him to first place in All-Time wins by a goalkeeper (passed Tony Meola). CCL: Did not feature. Open Cup: Did not feature. 

2012: Nielsen played every minute in net for Sporting Kansas City in 2012 with a 0.79 goals against average at the conclusion of the regular season. Only one other goalkeeper in MLS history has played in 75% of their team’s games in a season and kept a goals against average below 0.80. Nielsen’s 0.79 goals against average is the best mark by a goalkeeper in club history, breaking Tony Meola’s mark of 0.92 in 2000.  Jimmy Nielsen’s 1.02 career goals against average is the best for a goalkeeper in MLS history with a minimum of 4,000 minutes played and is the best mark for a Sporting KC goalkeeper all-time. Nielsen set a club record for minutes played during a single-season with 3,060. Only five other players -- three of whom were goalkeepers -- have played 3,060 minutes in a single-season in MLS history. Nielsen also set a club record for games played and games started in a single-season with 34 and recorded 15 shutouts, the second most shutouts by a keeper in a single-season. Nielsen was named the team’s Most Valuable Player for the second consecutive year while he led Sporting Kansas City to 18 wins this season, which matched the MLS record in the non-shootout era for most wins in a single-season. Nielsen was also nominated six times for the 2012 MLS Save of the Week honors and earned the accolade all six times he was nominated for the weekly honor. Nielsen was named a 2012 AT&T MLS All-Star, the 2012 MLS Allstate Goalkeeper of the Year, and one of the 2012 MLS Best XI. Named team captain prior to start of season.

2011: The fan favorite started 31 games for Sporting Kansas City and made 79 saves. Stopped a penalty from Rafa Marquez on April 30 in 1-0 loss at New York. Recorded three straight shutouts in the month of June and four straight shutouts in October, including two playoff matches against the Colorado Rapids. He won four MLS Save of the Week awards and was named Sporting Kansas City’s Most Valuable Player.
2010: Signed a contract with the club in February 2010 and became the starting goalkeeper for the season. He recorded 10 shutouts and made 80 saves in 29 starts, allowing 34 goals for a 1.17 goals against average. Selected as an inactive MLS All-Star prior to event. Also started and made three saves in 2-1 win over Manchester United during summer friendly. Named the team’s Defensive Player of the Year.
1995-2007: Made 342 appearances for hometown club AaB Aalborg, helping the team to the 1999 Danish Superliga championship. Named Danish Goalkeeper of the Year in 1998 and 2004.
2007-2010: After a brief stint at Leicester City, transferred to Danish club Vejle, for whom he made 63 appearances over two years.
NATIONAL TEAM: Nielsen represented Denmark at the U-19 and U-21 levels 
PERSONAL: Nicknamed "White Puma." Married with two daughters. In his free time Jimmy spends as much time with his family as possible. He will also go golfing occasionally, with sometimes disastrous results. Jimmy has also become a fan of the Nintendo Wii, and Wii Tennis specifically. Favorite club growing up was Everton, and Nielsen admired Neville Southall. Best soccer memory is winning the Danish league championship with Aalborg BK in 2000. Favorite Kansas City restaurant is Bella Napoli. Kansas City Chiefs season ticket holder, but is also an avid St. Louis Rams fan. In May 2013, Nielsen released his biography titled, "Welcome to the Blue Heaven, Dont Bet Against the Goalkeeper" that elabrates on the diversity he has faced throughout his career. 

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