‘Key member’ of Bristol Rovers squad to depart for MLS - club confirms

The Scotland youth cap was a regular starter at the Memorial Stadium but is now heading back to the USA

Bristol Rovers have confirmed that Sam Nicholson is leaving the club to rejoin American Major League Soccer side Colorado Rapids.

The 27-year old joined Rovers in 2020 having previously spent two seasons with the Denver based side.

His contract was due to expire at the end of the month and the former Heart of Midlothian player has opted for a return to the USA rather than remaining in the UK.

He was one of four players not mentioned in the retained list which also included Anthony Evans, who signed a new deal this week.

A statement from Bristol Rovers said: “Bristol Rovers Football Club would like to announce that Sam Nicholson will be leaving the club and returning to previous club Colorado Rapids, who play in the MLS in America.

The former Tynecastle winger is out of contract after helping Rovers to gain promotion to League One this past season. Previously played under Robbie Neilson.

“We would like to thank Sam for his service to the club over the past two years.

“He has been a key member of the team during his time here and we wish him all the best in the next stage of his career.”

Edinburgh-born Nicholson began his senior career with boyhood club Hearts in 2013, spending four seasons at the Tynecastle club in the Scottish Premiership and Scottish Championship.

His first move to the USA came in 2017 when he joined Minnesota United, spending a season and a half with the Saint Paul side before a move south-west across the country to Colorado Rapids.

After two seasons in Denver he returned to the UK with Rovers for the 2020/21 campaign where he made 35 appearances and scored eight goals in all competitions before a hip injury ended his season early.

The Scot, who represented his country at youth level from Under 18 to Under 21, returned for the 2021/22 season and managed six goals in 40 appearances as Rovers’ returned to the third tier at the first time of asking.

Overall, Nicholson played 75 games for Rovers in all competitions and scored 14 goals during his two seasons at the Memorial Stadium.