Budalic in 2007
|Full name||Nikola Budalic|
|Date of birth||August 1, 1978|
|Place of birth||Kitchener, Ontario|
|Height||5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)|
|Inter Miami (Director of soccer operations)|
|1997–2000||James Madison Dukes|
|2000–2001||Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks|
|2001||Glen Shields Sun Devils||10||(1)|
|2006–2009||Serbian White Eagles||31||(6)|
|2007||→ Toronto FC Reserves (loan)||2||(1)|
|2010–2011||Serbian White Eagles|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only|
Budalic began his soccer career at the college level with the James Madison University. In 2001, he was selected by the Toronto Lynx in the first round of the USL A-League 2001 College Draft, but decided to continue his education back home at Wilfrid Laurier University where he led the Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks to the CIS championship. After the college season came to a conclusion he played with the Glen Shields Sun Devils in the Canadian Professional Soccer League.
In 2003, he signed a contract with the Toronto Lynx. He made his debut on April 20, 2002 against the Pittsburgh Riverhounds. He recorded his first goal on April 26, 2002 against Richmond Kickers in a 1-1 draw. In his rookie season he nearly helped the Lynx qualify for the postseason, but a tie in the final game of season against Atlanta Silverbacks made the Charlotte Eagles take the final playoff spot. He finished the season with twelve goals and was named Team of the Week three times. The club also recognized him with their Best Offensive Player award, and was also named the A-League Rookie of the Year.
Just weeks before the start of the 2003 season the Lynx announced Budalic had been transferred to Örebro SK in the Swedish First Division, where he was re-united with former Lynx player Chris Pozniak. He was also named to the Canada national soccer team roster for a friendly against Germany, but did not feature in the match.
In 2004, he returned to Canada to sign with Montreal Impact. During his tenure with Montreal he had difficulty getting sufficient playing time with the competition of well-established strikers. He was later transferred to F.K. Haugesund where he helped the club win promotion to the Adeccoligaen in 2005. In 2006, he was released by Haugesund, which marked his return to Canada to sign with the Serbian White Eagles of the Canadian Soccer League. In his debut season he assisted the club in clinching the International Division title. He featured in the CSL Championship match against Italia Shooters, but lost the game to a score of 1-0.
He featured in the championship match against rivals Toronto Croatia, but suffered a 4-1 defeat on goals on aggregate. On September 17, 2007, Budalic played a game for the Toronto FC reserve team against the Real Salt Lake reserve team, and scored a goal in the 22nd minute. In 2008, he was named team captain of the Serbian White Eagles for the 2008 season. He helped secure a postseason by finishing second in their division. In the playoffs, he recorded a goal in a 3-0 victory against Italia. For the third straight year he reached the championship final against the Trois-Rivières Attak, where Serbia claimed their first championship in a 2-1 victory in a penalty shootout.
In 2009, he assisted Serbia in securing their third division title and reached the championship final for the fourth time, but were defeated by the Attak in a penalty shootout. The following year he retired from competitive soccer in order to coach the White Eagles. He briefly returned to soccer in 2013 to play with K-W United FC in the USL Premier Development League.
After his retirement from soccer he was appointed the head coach for the Serbian White Eagles.
Budalic served as director of soccer operations for K-W United, leading the team to the PDL championship in 2015. He was also an assistant coach for the women's and men's soccer teams at Wilfrid Laurier University and director of football for Beswicks Sports North America before joining Orlando City on 26 January 2016, as an assistant general manager, where he had to report directly to founder and president Phil Rawlins. On 14 December 2016, he was promoted to general manager, soccer operations at Orlando City, Orlando Pride and Orlando City B. He left the club in late November.
- Serbian White Eagles
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- "2008 CSL Season" (PDF). canadiansoccerleague.ca.
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- Adamson, Stan (November 21, 2019). "NIKI BUDALIC OF SWE JOINS DAVID BECKHAM AT INTER MIAMI – Canadian Soccer League". Retrieved 2019-11-22.
- "Canadian Soccer League". 2013-01-26. Archived from the original on 2013-01-26. Retrieved 2017-08-29. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
- Canadian Niki Budalic joins David Beckham's Inter Miami as director of soccer operations, cbc.ca, 8 January 2019
- Niki Budalic Joins Orlando City as Assistant General Manager, orlandocitysc.com, 25 January 2019
- Orlando City SC’s Niki Budalic Promoted To General Manager, Soccer Operations, orlandocitysc.com, 14 December 2016
- Culver, Jordan. "Orlando City parts ways with club GM Niki Budalić | Pro Soccer USA". www.prosoccerusa.com. Retrieved 2018-11-26.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Niki Budalić.|
| Serbian White Eagles captain