US-16 Football team coach, Michael Nsien: A Trailblazer and his 2026 World Cup dream

For black football managers, getting a foothold in the coaching management space in America, Europe or other parts of the world is a tough nut to crack. Even in their own homes, they struggle to share their own space with white coaches.

However, Michael Nsien, a Nigerian American is writing his name on the sand of time, gradually climbing the ladder of success in the American soccer history.

Born in Tulsa, Oklahoma of Nigerian roots, Nsien holds all the UEFA Pro and UEFA “A” Coaching licenses, and he has been regarded in the United States of America’s soccer space as a trail blazer. The former Nigeria’s Under-23 international who was just yesterday appointed as the US soccer under-16 team head coach by the US Soccer Federation, has been vocal and visual about his ultimate desire and dream to lead the Nigerian Super Eagles to the 2026 World Cup, as a gaffer.

Nsien’s remarkable skill in football management was immediately registered when he won eight championships for Tulsa’s Youth Academy Boys as the Director and Elite Team Coach between 2010 and 2018, while helping over 100 layers to cross into the college team. He was quickly handed the reins of FC Tulsa as the interim coach half-way through the 2018 season where he led them to their two banner years in 2020 and 2021, with their first ever play-offs.

The 41-year-old has been widely praised for his keen eyes to identify special talents and gifted brains to mentor them into successes.  From 2011-17, Nsien worked as an Olympic Development Program coach/scout in Region 3 across the southern/south-eastern United States.

In his role, Nsien identified players for Youth National Team selection, MLS academies and European tours, working with a number of individuals that have gone on to professional careers. At FC Tulsa, Nsien coached USMNT forward Jesús Ferreira, recently named to the USA’s 2022 FIFA World Cup roster.

Nsien who starred as a player for four years at the University of Dayton, represented Nigeria at the U-23 level during its 2004 Olympic qualification campaign, spent time with LA Galaxy’s reserves and the Portland Timbers in the USL, said it is his duty to turn his latest opportunity to a gateway for other black coaches and managers coming behind.

And, how magnificent would it be to have Nsien lead the Nigerian national football Team to the 2026 FIFA World Cup which will be hosted by the United States of America.