by Pete Richmire

TACOMA, WA. – The Tacoma Stars (2-1) have named Nick Perera as the team’s head coach, effective Friday. The coaching change comes after Darren Sawatzky accepted the head coach position with FC Tucson of the USL League One. Perera will become the second head coach in Stars modern history with the Major Arena Soccer League. 

In addition to his new role as the head coach, Perera currently leads the Stars in scoring with 10 points (4G-6A) after the first three games of the MASL season. Perera also led all Tacoma scorers in 2017-18 and in 96 career MASL games has tallied 186 points (97G-89A). Perera joined the Stars last season after three appearances with the Syracuse Silver Knights. 

Perera played last season under Sawatzky and noted the atmosphere created by his predecessor when asked about being named the new Stars leader. He said “it’s an honor. This group of men is special, and the culture Darren has cultivated over the last few years really is unique. I’m grateful to the organization for placing their trust in me and I can’t wait to get started.” 

He will get started in a venue familiar to him and his Tacoma squad. The Stars play Saturday at Pachenga Arena San Diego, the home of the San Diego Sockers. Perera and the Stars were eliminated from last year’s MASL playoffs in that building. 

Just as Perera recognized the quality environment he is inheriting, Sawatzky commented on the team’s new coach. “I cannot think of a better person or leader to take the reins with the Tacoma Stars. Nick has a vast knowledge of small sided soccer at many levels and his influence as the head coach will only foster a better team and environment here. I wish him the very best in his new role and I will be watching this project as these guys hunt for wins this season” Sawatzky said. 

Perera has been coaching College and Elite level soccer or higher since 2005 and his coaching resume and player interaction were key for Stars Owner Lane Smith. “Nick has a tremendous soccer pedigree and knowledge. His indoor soccer experience along with his leadership qualities, prior coaching history, and chemistry with players make him a natural choice to lead the Tacoma Stars” said Smith. 

Perera’s indoor soccer experience begins in 2011 as a member of the San Diego Sockers. That year also saw Perera with the U.S. Futsal National Team and a PASL and Open Cup Championship. 

For Stars fans, the team’s first four games with Perera at the helm may best be viewed on as the Stars are on the road until January 11 when the Monterrey Flash come to the accesso ShoWare Center. 

After Saturday night’s match against San Diego, the Stars will take on the Fury in Ontatio on Sunday. Saturday’s game is scheduled for 7:05 pm with an earlier 5:00 pm kick-off on Sunday. 

The Stars are on the road this week with games in San Diego and Ontario. Watch the Stars live vs the Sockers on Saturday the 22nd at 7:05 pm and against the Fury the following night at 5:05 pm. Stars road games are streamed live on with live stats available at 

The Stars next home action Friday, January 11 against the Monterrey Flash. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:35 pm. Guarantee your seat to all the action by calling 1-844-STARS-84 or go to

There’s still time to purchase 2018-2019 Season Tickets or a Legacy Membership with the Tacoma Stars. Guarantee your seat to all the action by calling 1-844-STARS-84, or emailing, or go to

Single game tickets to all the Tacoma Stars home games are on sale now. Head to to purchase your tickets. 

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