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Coach from Kazakhstan Premier League replaces Oka Nikolov on Philadelphia Union technical staff

Frank Leicht worked for several clubs in Germany prior to stint at FC Kairat; Marlon LeBlanc officially named head coach of Union II and Garrison Draper promoted



A new assistant coach from the Kazakhstan Premier League with an extensive background in German football has joined Philadelphia Union head coach Jim Curtin’s technical staff, the team announced Tuesday.

Frank Leicht joins the staff from FC Kairat, filling the previously unannounced vacancy with Oka Nikolov’s departure. Nikolov, who was a reserve goalkeeper for the Union during the 2013 season and had two coaching stints with the team, was not mentioned in the press release announcing the move.

Leicht was the head of academy coaching for FC Kairat. Prior to that, he was a head coach and scout in the Eintracht Frankfurt and Red Bull Leipzig youth and academy systems. He was also an assistant coach for the German Bundesliga side 1FC Koeln in 2005-2006 and coached academy teams for VfB Stuttgart.

Yaseen Khan, who was athletic trainer for Bethlehem Steel in 2016, has also joined the staff as assistant athletic trainer & strength and conditioning coach. He’s since worked San Antonio FC and later the NBA’s Atlanta Hawks and their D league affiliates, College Park Skyhawks, as an athletic trainer and strength coach.

The team also announced Tuesday that Garrison Draper has been promoted from director of performance to vice president of player health and performance and that Marlon LeBlanc has been officially name head coach of Philadelphia Union II. He was named interim head coach of the team in August.

Matthew Ralph is the managing editor of Philadelphia Soccer Now / Brotherly Game. He's covered soccer at all levels for many years in the Philadelphia region and has also written for, NPSL, PrepSoccer and other publications. He lives with his wife and two young children in Broomall, Pa., but grew up in South Jersey and is originally from Kansas.

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