New FC Tulsa goalkeeper Michael Nelson has made 15 prior appearances in the USL Championship on loan with Rio Grande Valley FC during the 2018 and 2019 seasons. | Photo courtesy Rio Grande Valley FC
TULSA, Okla. – FC Tulsa announced on Friday the club had acquired goalkeeper Michael Nelson on loan from Major League Soccer for the upcoming 2023 USL Championship season. The transaction is pending league and federation approval.
A native of Katy, Texas, the 28-year-old spent the past five seasons with Houston Dynamo FC of Major League Soccer before being waived on February 16 this year. He joined the professional ranks after being selected with the 20th pick of the 2018 MLS SuperDraft by the Dynamo.
“Michael is an experienced goalkeeper with exceptional shot stopping ability and a desire to compete,” said FC Tulsa Head Coach Blair Gavin. “These attributes will help our team continue to grow in the right direction.”
During his time with the Dynamo, Nelson made 11 appearances during the 2021 season. Prior to his top flight debut that season, he competed on loan in the USL Championship for Rio Grande Valley FC, where he made 15 appearances for the Toros in the 2018 and 2019 seasons. Nelson recorded four shutouts and 46 saves with a save percentage of 69.7 percent across the two seasons.
Prior to joining the professional ranks, Nelson had a stellar collegiate career at Southern Methodist University, including a redshirt senior season in which he earned United Soccer Coaches All-East Region First Team honors, the American Athletic Conference Goalkeeper of the Year award, and First Team All-AAC honors, being named the AAC's Goalkeeper of the Year.
“FC Tulsa has a positive reputation for its competitive culture as well as having good people throughout the organization which is important to me, and players I spoke with during the process had nothing but good things to say about the setup here,” said Nelson. “From what I’ve seen of Blair in this first week, he’s a very proactive and forward-thinking coach who wants to control and dictate games – those are the type of teams you want to be a part of and the type of ideas that are exciting to get behind as a player.”