ST. LOUIS, Mo – Saint Louis FC has made a final player signing ahead of this weekend's season opener, officially adding midfielder Nikita Kotlov to the squad.
“Nikita is an extremely versatile player, excelling both offensively and defensively,” STL FC Head Coach Dale Schilly said. “His defensive transition helps us get the ball back quickly and his one-on-one attacking abilities help create chances.”
Kotlov, 23, arrives at STL FC after playing one season professionally with the Portland Timbers in MLS. He was taken in the 2014 MLS SuperDraft with the 16th pick of the fourth round and 73rd pick overall.
Prior to professional play, Kotlov attended Indiana University where he scored the game-winning goal in a 1-0 victory over Georgetown to give the Hoosiers their eighth NCAA title in 2012. He was named to the College Cup All-Tournament Team that same season.
A native of Indianapolis, Ind., Kotlov played in all 22 games during his senior campaign at IU and was tied for the team lead in goals, while leading Indiana to the Big Ten Tournament crown and earning a fourth consecutive All-Big Ten selection.
The midfielder appeared in 85 matches, scoring 26 goals and recording 14 assists during his collegiate career.
“Nikita brings an athletic presence to our current roster," Schilly added. "He is quick, strong in the air, and has the ability to strike for goals in a moment’s notice. Nikita has some tremendous individual talents; fans will enjoy seeing him develop those skills and watching him reach his potential.”
Kotlov has already appeared in the STL FC squad during the team's preseason friendlies. He joins former Indiana teammates Jacob Bushue and Patrick Doody on the roster.