Kitchener-Waterloo

Canadian Niki Budalic joins David Beckham's Inter Miami as director of soccer operations

Waterloo, Ont., native Niki Budalic will join MLS expanion team Inter Miami as director of soccer operations. David Beckham is behind the Miami franchise.
Niki Budalic, a Laurier alum who served as assistant coach to the Golden Hawks soccer teams, has joined Inter Miami. (Laurier Athletics)

Canadian Niki Budalic has been named director of soccer operations for Inter Miami, an expansion MLS side that hopes to begin play in 2020.

Budalic spent the last three years in Orlando as general manager of soccer operations for both Orlando City and the NWSL's Orlando Pride.

The 40-year-old native of Waterloo, Ont., will report to Inter Miami sporting director Paul McDonough and work alongside technical director Kurt Schmid in overseeing all soccer operations.

"Niki's experience working alongside players and coaches at all levels will be an important addition to our technical staff, and one that will allow us to create an environment that cultivates success," McDonough said in a statement. "We want to welcome Niki to the Inter Miami family."

Retired soccer star David Beckham announced in January 2018 that he'll head the Major League Soccer expansion franchise in Miami. (Eric Espada/Getty Images)

Former England captain David Beckham is behind the Miami franchise; it's full name is Club Internacional de Futbol Miami.

Budalic left Orlando in late November. He had joined the club ahead of the 2016 season as assistant GM.

Prior to joining Orlando, Budalic served as director of soccer operations for Kitchener-Waterloo United, leading the team to the PDL (Premier Development League) championship in 2015. He was also an assistant coach for the women's and men's soccer teams at Wilfrid Laurier University and director of football for Beswicks Sports North America.

Budalic also has a masters of business administration from Laurier.

As a player, Budalic spent time with the Toronto Lynx and Montreal Impact as well as Orebro in Sweden and FK Haugesund in Norway.

Budalic's hiring by Inter Miami is pending approval of a U.S. work permit.

With files from CBC Kitchener-Waterloo

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