The Philadelphia Union announced Thursday the club has hired Oka Nikolov to join the technical staff as an assistant coach, with his primary focus on the goalkeepers. Per club policy, additional details were not disclosed.
“Oka’s career speaks for itself and we’re extremely confident in his abilities to mentor our young group at that position,” Union Sporting Director Earnie Stewart said. “Due to his extensive background and organizational familiarity, we know he can immediately come in and make a difference for us. We’re excited to have him on board.”
Nikolov, 41, played for the Philadelphia Union during the 2013 season, but did not register during the MLS season – his only year in the league. Nikolov spent 22 years at Eintracht Frankfurt, including 19 seasons with the senior team where he appeared in more 370 Bundesliga games, including making a league-record 14 saves in a match against Bayern Munich. After Frankfurt, Nikolov joined the Philadelphia Union in July 2013. He then finished his club career with Fort Lauderdale Strikers, of the North American Soccer League, in 2014. Internationally, Nikolov appeared in five games for Macedonia.
After retiring from play in 2014, Nikolov joined the Eintracht Frankfurt Talent Academy as a coach. He also currently serves as the assistant coach for the Macedonian National Team. Prior to that, Nikolov worked as a goalkeeping coach for the German Under-19 National Team.