Nick Perera, a standout player in the college and professional ranks and current captain of the U.S. Beach Soccer national team, is in his second season as an assistant coach on the University of California San Diego men's soccer staff in 2017.
Perera aided UC San Diego in a volunteer capacity during the 2016 spring. In addition to his duties in La Jolla, Perera has been a coach Cardiff Mustangs since 2014, directing boy's teams at the U-11 and U-14 levels. His U-11 side were State Cup semifinalists in 2015.
Perera is also still very much an active competitive player. He rejoined the beach national team in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., for a two-day training camp in July of 2016, before moving on to Europe for games in his native Madrid, Spain, and in Portugal. Other trips in 2016 included Lucerne, Switzerland, in August, and Dubai, United Arab Emirates in November. He captained Team USA at the 2017 CONCACAF Beach Soccer Championship in Nassau, Bahamas, in February, scoring four goals as the Americans went 5-1 for fifth place.
In March of 2016, Perera completed the second season of his second stint with the local San Diego Sockers in the indoor Major Arena Soccer League (MASL). He moved on to the Ontario Fury for the 2016-17 campaign.
At the 2013 FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup in Tahiti, Perera paced Team USA with five goals. The U.S. qualified for that tournament by winning the CONCACAF Beach Soccer Championship earlier that year in the Bahamas. Perera was that event's top scorer with his 11 strikes, including the late equalizer and deciding tally in the final as the Americans rallied from 4-3 down to knock off El Salvador, 5-4 after extra time. He later added a team-best nine goals at the 2015 CONCACAF Championship in which the U.S. placed fourth. Watch highlights here from a thrilling 4-3 group-stage victory over Barbados in which Perera completed his hat trick with just 10 ticks left.
Perera's expansive career resume as a player includes stops on the pro beach and indoor circuits in Italy and Spain, alongside stints in Belgium and Milwaukee, Wis., and even some time with the U.S. Futsal National Team at the 2011 Grand Prix de Futsal in Manaus, Brazil. Among previous coaching assignments are the former Carlsbad Lightning, several entities in the Milwaukee area, and numerous camps.
Perera is a 2009 graduate of UC Santa Barbara, with a bachelor's degree in English. He starred for the Gauchos for four years from 2005-08, helping them to a pair of Big West Conference titles in 2006 and 2007, and was the leader of the 2006 UCSB squad that went 17-7-1 and won that program's first-ever national championship. The Gauchos topped UCLA in the final in St. Louis, Mo., 2-1. Perera was named the Most Outstanding Offensive Player of that College Cup, scoring the early opener before assisting on what proved to be the decider against the Bruins.
Following the conclusion of his collegiate career, Perera was invited to the 2009 adidas Major League Soccer Player Combine, prior to professional trials with Atlético Madrid and Racing Santander of Spain's LaLiga.
Originally from Madrid, Spain, Perera currently resides in Carlsbad with his wife, Michelle, and their two young children, daughter Sofia and son Theo. He earned his U.S. Soccer National B license in 2015, a football management degree from the Johan Cruyff Institute in 2014, and is fluent in English, Spanish, French, Dutch and Italian.
|Alma Mater:||UC Santa Barbara|