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Oka Nikolov signs for LA Galaxy

Nikolov coached Andre Blake to the 2016 MLS Goalkeeper of the Year award

Philadelphia Union vs New England Revolution Trey Madara / Brotherly Game

Per a press release, former Philadephia Union goalkeeper turned goalkeeping coach Oka Nikolov has signed with the LA Galaxy. Nikolov started his career with the Union in 2013 after over two decades with Eintracht Frankfurt in Germany’s Bundesliga and 2.Bundesliga. Nikolov didn’t ever play a match with the Union, instead backing up Zac MacMath and Chris Konopka after signing in June. After his half-season with the Union, Nikolov finished his career in 2014 with the Fort Lauderdale Strikers in the NASL.

The following year he returned to the Union as a goalkeeping coach under new manager Jim Curtin. Nikolov mentored Andre Blake and John McCarthy (as well as Brian Sylvestre, Matt Jones, and Jake McGuire) over the past three seasons, seeing Blake win Goalkeeper of the Year honors in 2016 and get nominated for the award in 2017. Nikolov was an integral part to the development of these players, and it will be interesting to see if he’s able to replicate the feat with Galaxy goalkeepers Clement Diop, Brian Rowe, and Jon Kempin.