Oka Nikolov

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Oka Nikolov
Personal information
Full name Orhej Nikolov
Date of birth (1974-05-25) 25 May 1974 (age 45)
Place of birth Erbach im Odenwald, West Germany
Height 1.88 m (6 ft 2 in)
Playing position Goalkeeper
Club information
Current team
Philadelphia Union (assistant)
Youth career
1981–1989 SG Sandbach
1989–1991 Darmstadt 98
1991–1993 Eintracht Frankfurt
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1992–1996 Eintracht Frankfurt II 73 (0)
1995–2013 Eintracht Frankfurt 379 (0)
2013 Philadelphia Union 0 (0)
2014 Fort Lauderdale Strikers 8 (0)
Total 460 (0)
National team
1998–2001 Macedonia 5 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Orhej "Oka" Nikolov (German pronunciation: [ˈɔɐ̯hɛɪ ˈʔɔkaː ˈniːkolɔf]; Macedonian: Орхеј "Ока" Николов [ˈɔrxɛj ˈɔka niˈkɔɫɔf]; born 25 May 1974) is a Macedonian retired professional football goalkeeper who currently serves as Assistant Coach for the Philadelphia Union in Major League Soccer.[1] He spent nineteen seasons with Eintracht Frankfurt, appearing in 413 official games over the course of 13 Bundesliga seasons.[2][3]

Club career[edit]

Born Erbach im Odenwald, Hessen, West Germany, Nikolov grew up in Sandbach in Hessen, starting playing football with local SG Sandbach.[citation needed]

Nikolov started his senior career as backup, first to Uli Stein and then Andreas Köpke.[citation needed] After the latter left the team in June 1996 following the team's relegation from the Bundesliga he became first-choice, losing that status in early 2002 to newly-signed Dirk Heinen; he made his debut in the top division on 9 September 1995, playing the full 90 minutes in a 3–1 home win against 1. FC Kaiserslautern.[citation needed]

In the following years Nikolov played in every season.[citation needed] In February 2007, after Pröll received a rib injury, he was reinstated by manager Friedhelm Funkel, contributing with 20 games during the team's 2006-07 season.[4]

In January 2010, it was announced that the 35-year-old Nikolov would not renew his contract with Eintracht that was due to expire in the summer, but he eventually signed a new deal until 2012, and later until 2013.[5] In June 2013, Eintracht revealed that the goalkeeper's contract would be cancelled, effective immediately to allow Nikolov to fulfill his lifelong dream to play in the United States.[6]

On 19 June 2013, Nikolov signed with the Philadelphia Union of Major League Soccer.[7] He made his first start as a Union player on 30 July 2013 in a friendly against Stoke City playing 45 minutes.[citation needed]

Nikolov signed with Fort Lauderdale Strikers on 19 February 2014 on a contract for the nine-game Spring season.[citation needed] Nikolov started and played eight matches in goal for the Strikers, posting two clean sheets. The team ended up as runners-ups.[4]

Coaching career[edit]

  • Director of Coaching at JFC Frankfurt
  • Project Director and Coach at the Eintracht Frankfurt Football Academy
  • Assistant Coach for the under 19 German National Team.
  • Nikolov also served as Assistant Coach for the Macedonian National Team.
  • Currently, Oka Nikolov serves as and Assistant Coach for the Philadelphia Union (MLS).

International career[edit]

Nikolov chose to represent the country of his ancestors, going on to win five caps for Macedonia in four years.[citation needed] Since he also possessed German citizenship he couldn't acquire a Macedonian passport and therefore was unable to play in official games under FIFA.[citation needed] His 5 appearances were only in friendlies.[8]




  1. ^ "LA Galaxy add Oka Nikolov and Junior Gonzalez to coaching staff". lagalaxy.com. Retrieved 9 November 2017.
  2. ^ Feick, Michael (12 August 2010). "Oka Nikolov bleibt im Eintracht-Tor" [Oka Nikolov remains in Eintracht goal] (in German). Eintracht's official website. Retrieved 19 May 2013.
  3. ^ "Nikolov kehrt zurück" [Nikolov returns] (in German). Frankfurter Neue Presse. 20 March 2013. Retrieved 19 May 2013.
  4. ^ a b "O. Nikolov". Soccerway. Perform Group. Retrieved 5 August 2018.
  5. ^ "Oka Nikolov verlängert bis 2013" [Oka Nikolov renews until 2013] (in German). Frankfurter Rundschau. 14 November 2011. Retrieved 19 May 2013.
  6. ^ "Frankfurt release Oka Nikolov" [Frankfurt release Oka Nikolov] (in German). Bundesliga.de. 18 June 2013. Retrieved 18 June 2013.
  7. ^ "Union sign veteran goalkeeper Oka Nikolov". Philadelphia Union. 19 June 2013. Retrieved 7 July 2013.
  8. ^ "Oka Nikolov". MacedonianFootball. 12 January 2010. Retrieved 29 January 2014.

External links[edit]