Men's soccer player David Nakhid was one of the greatest players to wear AU Red and Blue. Nakhid was a pivotal member and central midfielder for the 1985 squad that earned a berth in the national championship game. Nakhid graduated from AU in 1987 as a two-time CAA All-Conference selection and two-time All-South Atlantic Region selection.
Nakhid's accomplishments on Reeves Field continue to resonate in the AU men's soccer record books. He is currently ranked 11th in all-time career goals. He is also tied for seventh in all-time career assists and tied for eighth for all-time career points. Nakhid was the first AU athlete to play for a major European team.
Nakhid, a Trinidad and Tobago native, was the first from his country to play in Europe. From 1988 to 1995, Nakhid played professionally in Switzerland, Belgium, and Greece. He scored 20 goals over four seasons with FC Grasshopper (Switzerland) and 12 goals in two years with Waregum (Belgium), where he was twice named Most Valuable Player for the club.
In 1995, with the Al-Ansar Sporting Club of Lebanon, Nakhid was named Player of the Year and scored 35 goals. He won three league championships and three Cup Titles with the club.
Nakhid returned to the United States in the late 1990s where he played professionally for the New England Revolution of the MLS. He has also played for other professional teams, including Al-Emirates (United Arab Emirates), Malmö FF (Sweden) and Joe Public (Trinidad). He is presently a coach and player for the Al-Mabarrah Team in Lebanon.
Nakhid has received many accolades over his professional career. One of the best indicators of the strength of character of Nakhid is his service to his country on the soccer field. Nakhid was the captain of the Trinidad and Tobago National Team from January 1996 to April 1999. The team qualified for the 1998 World Cup. He has 70 National Team caps (career appearances) and was two-time Most Valuable Player of the Caribbean Championships and two-time Trinidad and Tobago Player of the Year.
There are many qualities of Nakhid that make him a worthy addition to the Stafford H. Cassell Hall of Fame besides his accolades and statistics. Peter Mehlert, Stafford H. Cassell Hall of Fame member and former coach of the AU men's soccer team and Nakhid during his tenure at AU, praised the midfielder for his work ethic and strength of character. "(Nakhid) was the consummate, classic, central midfielder who could put the foot on the ball," said Mehlert. "He was the soccer version of a point guard."
Mehlert recalled that when Nakhid came in as a freshman, he had difficulty making long passes. Through tireless effort, he improved tremendously and turned into one of the better drivers of long passes, a crucial attribute of a good central midfielder. "While at AU he had always wanted to improve his deficient technical areas," said Mehlert. According to Mehlert, Nakhid dominated the midfield in his tenure at AU.
Off the field,Nakhid was a double major, establishing early on AU's dedication to its student-athletes performing in and out of the classroom. "He was an extremely intelligent, articulate and thoughtful individual," said Mehlert. According to Mehlert, Nakhid could comfortably talk about soccer statistics one minute and discuss Third World economy the next. On the field, Nakhid was always fighting for calls and the "fairness of all players, including the young players who often were not treated as fairly as the stars," Mehlert said.
David Nakhid has all the qualities that make him a great addition to the Stafford H. Cassell Hall of Fame. He joins Mehlert, and his former teammates Michael Brady and Keith Trehy, all of whom were a part of the 1985 run to the national championship.