KANSAS CITY, KS - JULY 9: Jimmy Nielsen #1 of Sporting Kansas City applauds the crowd against Chivas USA on July 9, 2011 at LiveStrong Sporting Park in Kansas City, Kansas. (Photo by G. Newman Lowrance/Getty Images)
A interesting week for Sporting Kansas City's goalkeepers continues today as the club announced that 34 year old keeper Jimmy Nielsen would be adorning the captain's armband in 2012. "The White Puma" - as he is affectionately known in these parts - is coming off a very impressive 2011 season where he was named Sporting KC's MVP and was one of the keepers of the season in the MLS.
While I believe Nielsen is as deserving as anyone to get the nod for captain I still have mixed feelings about it. Simply because I generally would prefer a outfield player as captain - if for nothing else than the fact that outfield players can cover a vast more amount of space than keepers can. Meaning that they can talk to the referee, manager, and even the players a lot easier than a goalkeeper would be able to.
However, Nielsen has shown for the past couple of seasons that he is a true leader, not just of the back line, but of the whole squad. And in the end a captain should be an interpretation of the coaches beliefs and ideals on the field, something that I think Jimmy does very well.