John “Johnny” Nelson

The number-two goalscorer behind Archie Stark in the original American Soccer League, with 223 goals in his eight-year ASL career. The largest part of that time was with the Brooklyn Wanderers, whom he joined during the 1923-24 season and played for until being traded late in the 1927-28 season. During his four-plus seasons in Brooklyn, he scored 101 goals. By the 1928-29 season, he was with J&P Coats in Pawtucket, R.I., and then returned to New York to play for Nationals, but his career was ended by a knee injury in 1931 at the age of 26.

Nelson, although a prolific goalscorer, never played for an ASL champion team. The closest he came was in the 1924-25 season, when the Brooklyn Wanderers finished third in the 12-team league. Nelson led the ASL goals in only one season, with 39 goals in the “Atlantic Coast League” season of 1929-30.

Inducted in 2005.

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