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Oka Nikolov returning to technical staff

After a year in Los Angeles the former Philadelphia Union keeper is back as an assistant coach and director of goalkeeping

Philadelphia Union

Oka Nikolov is making another cross country move, this time back to the East Coast to rejoin his former team as an assistant coach and the director of goalkeeping.

Nikolov departed the club last off-season to take an assistant job at LA Galaxy after spending two seasons as an assistant in Chester and the 2013 season as the team’s third string keeper.

“I am happy to be back in Philadelphia,” Nikolov said in the news release announcing his return. “Over the years, this has become a second home to me. I love being a part of this club and I am happy to work with the team. I’d like to thank Ernst and Jim and I am excited to get started again.”

The 44-year-old German-born Macedonian spent the bulk of his playing career at Eintracht Frankfurt in Germany, making 379 appearances for the first team over 19 seasons. He was capped five times by the Macedonia national team. He’s coached at Eintracht Frankfurt, the Macdeonia National Team and the German U19 National Team.

“We are excited to welcome Oka home to Philadelphia,” Philadelphia Union Sporting Director Ernst Tanner said in the news release. “Oka is of course familiar with MLS and the Union. His track record across many years coaching and playing speaks for itself. As Union fans know, he is a Bundesliga legend, and our club is fortunate to have him return.”

Tim Manley, who served as the goalkeeper coach last season, left the club at the end of the season after spending just the one year on head coach Jim Curtin’s staff.

“Oka is someone who I respect greatly, and all of our players and staff at the Union will benefit from having him return,” Curtin said in the news release.