Philadelphia Union ink veteran Bundesliga 'keeper Oka Nikolov to provide mentorship, competition
Hopefully Zac MacMath's conversational German is passable. Once again, the Philadelphia Union youngster will compete with a veteran goalkeeper displaced from the German Bundesliga.
On Wednesday, the Union announced that the club had signed Oka Nikolov, who joins Philadelphia from Eintracht Frankfurt and follows in the footsteps of former No. 1 Faryd Mondragón. MacMath has started all 15 of the club's matches this season, allowing 24 goals and compiling a 6-5-4 record.
“We’re excited to have a player with Nikolov’s experience and leadership join our team,” head coach John Hackworth said in a statement. “We think he will provide excellent depth and mentorship to our young goalkeepers.”
The 39-year-old will join the Union pending reception of his P-1 Visa, International Transfer Certificate (ITC) and a medical examination and will occupy an international roster spot. Per club and MLS policies, terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Nikolov left Eintracht Frankfurt after nearly two decades with the club, during which he made 414 total appearances and 229 in the Bundesliga, after starting the final eight games of the 2012-13 season to help the club earn a Europa League place. He holds German and Macedonian citizenship, making five international appearances for the latter.