Nico Carrera-Holstein Kiel

Nico Carrera

Nico Carrera shares the challenges of being an 18 year old center back during an international pandemic, and finding his way to a club in Europe that fits what he’s trying to accomplish in his career. His faith, his family and his will and determination led him to Holstein Kiel in 2 Bundesliga. A club that knocked Bayern Munich out of the DFB Pokal by penalties in January 2021.

Nico is a 2002 CB with big dreams of being part of Gregg Berhalter’s USMNT squad.

Hear the full interview here: 

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The person and player he’s getting he won’t find anywhere else. I am a person who will do anything and everything to do what I want to do. I will work harder than anyone else. I will do things that other people don’t even think about doing to get to where I want to do to get to where I need to go.

If I get the opportunity I will take advantage of it 100% because I know what it’s like to feel that you don’t have a single opportunity. I know what it’s like to be rejected, to be told no. When I was little that happened to me. I made sure that in the future that I would work and do everything in my power so that wouldn’t happen again. So I would 100% tell him that.

And I would tell him that I am the man for him. I am the centerback that he needs. I am the centerback that will give him whatever he asks for. Of course keeping my style of play, keeping my mentality, keeping my integrity as a person, but I would give him whatever he asked for. I would work harder than anyone else. That would be my response to him.

— Nico Carrera on if Gregg Berhalter asked – why call him up?


Age: 18 (Born May 6, 2002)

Height: 6’3”

Position: Centerback

Club: Holstein Kiel

League: U19 Bundesliga

Born: Pachuca, Mexico

Nationality: American, Mexican

US History: Member of the 2019 U17 World Cup Squad

Club History

Nico Carrera made his professional debut for North Texas in USL League 1. The club is affiliated with FC Dallas, where Nico was in the academy. While there, Nico rejected an FC Dallas Homegrown contract in favor of a European move upon turning 18. This summer, following his 18th birthday, Nico signed his first professional contract with Holstein Kiel of the 2. Bundesliga. For now, Nico is starting for the U19s and recently has been training with the U23s. For now, Nico is trying to work his way into Holstrin Kiel’s first team.

Style of Play

A modern centerback, Nico is equally comfortable in possession and out of possession. He plays with confidence and flare regardless of his opposition and is a leader of the backline. Additionally, he is strong in the air and that combined with his height make him a threat on set pieces. The young centerback is not afraid to get stuck in or dribble and go on an “adventure.” His adventures can add to the attacking threat of his team; however, they also leave the defense more exposed.


Nico Carrera is young, and as with any young player, has areas to grow. One of Nico’s biggest areas of improvement is his habit of ball watching. He can also get too comfortable in possession, running the risk of a sloppy pass. Sometimes he can also drift out of position, leaving his goalkeeper exposed. All of these areas are no doubt being worked on at Holstein Kiel and as he continues to develop, will become less and less significant.


For the USMNT Nico Carrera would be a tremendous asset. Our centerback pool, as of right now, is not the strongest. Should Nico continue to progress and move up to the Holstein Kiel first team, he would make a strong case for being called up to the senior team. As of right now, it is hard to imagine a U20 roster without the young centerback. His regular starts and strong performances with the U19s leave little doubt his position.

Nico Carrera’s Personality

The biggest asset of Nico’s however, is his personality. The teenager is extremely polite and kind to everyone. Despite having recently made the move to Germany, he has remained extremely humble. In fact, after having just moved to Germany a few months ago, Nico has already demonstrated enough leadership to have worn the captain’s arm band for Holstein Kiel U19s. Nico’s personality will serve him well in whatever he does in his life and will make him a tremendous asset to any team he plays for.

Highlights from a recent U19 match with Holstein Kiel
An interview with former USMNT player Jimmy Conrad