In 2019, Nick Stavrou enters his third year as head coach of the Fort Worth Vaqueros. He has guided the team to playoff berths in each of the last two seasons, which should come as no surprise. The Englishman has made significant contributions to North Texas soccer for decades.   

When the Dallas Sidekicks drafted the Worthing native in 1991 out of Cleveland State, Stavrou was actually a little disappointed. He had expected the Cleveland indoor team to take him, allowing him play in the same city where his now-wife had gotten a good job. But the defender had impressed Sidekicks coach Billy Philips, and Dallas drafted before Cleveland.

It worked out for Stavrou, who has played for multiple iterations of the Sidekicks franchise, and also served them as an assistant coach. He’s coached youth soccer in the area for years and was an assistant coach at Texas Woman’s University before taking over at the Vaqueros.

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The Sidekicks will honor his contributions by retiring his number 23 this Saturday at their game against Tacoma. That will come a couple of nights after his outdoor team ramps up preseason preparations with their annual party to determine which sponsor gets the coveted spot on the front of the jersey this season (a space the Fort Worth Weekly’s logo occupied with grace last year). The Vaqueros’ party happens at HopFusion Ale Works on Fort Worth’s Near Southside, while the Sidekicks will play their game a few freeways away at the Allen Events Center. The mileage serves to emphasize the impact Stavrou has had on his sport across the North Texas region.