Ottawa Fury FC Nikola Popovic has been voted the USL Coach of the Month for May after leading his side to an undefeated record and extended shutout streak throughout the month that saw Ottawa move back into the race for the USL Cup Playoffs.
The USL Coach of the Month award is voted upon by the USL National Media Panel and the USL Technical Committee, with each group responsible for 50 percent of the overall vote.
Introduced as Fury FC’s Head Coach this offseason after he led the Swope Park Rangers to the USL Western Conference Championship a season ago, Popovic has progressively established a strong outfit, as Ottawa aims to reach the postseason in its second year in the USL. Over the past month, Fury FC went 4W-2D-0L while not conceding a goal in all six contests.
A UEFA Pro licensed coach – the highest UEFA license available – Popovic has coached in eight countries, speaks four languages (Serbian, Portuguese, English and Spanish) and has coached at the academy, club and international levels. He harvested his coaching philosophies with internships at Inter Milan (2012-13), Portugal Under-21’s (2013) and Serbia and Montenegro Under-21’s (2006), philosophies that have now been leveraged into building a distinctive and proud footballing culture in Ottawa.
Popovic received 37 percent of the poll to claim the award ahead of the Portland Timbers 2’s Cameron Knowles on 32 percent and Nashville SC’s Gary Smith on 28 percent. Both Knowles and Smith also had excellent months, as both T2 and NSC also went undefeated to move into strong positions in their respective conferences.