Nkosi Burgess: Profiling the No. 14 Pick of the 2020 MLS SuperDraft

FRISCO, Texas – Much like last year, FC Dallas elected to add defensive depth with its first pick in the 2020 MLS SuperDraft by picking center back Nkosi Burgess from Seattle University with the 14th pick in the first round.

Burgess played three seasons with UConn (46 games) before transferring to play for the Redhawks in his last year of eligibility. In 2019, he played 20 games and had one goal and an assist en route to being named WAC Defensive Player of the Year. Burgess helped SU earn 10 shutouts in his only season as a Redhawk.

Nkosi Burgess: Profiling the No. 14 Pick of the 2020 MLS SuperDraft  -

“Nkosi has had a successful college career taking steps first with UConn then with Seattle, so he is a player that has had to adapt in different environments,” Luchi Gonzalez said. “He has some physical tools, athletic tools that are very obvious and he complements that with technique for a big man with bravery and aggressiveness. We think he has great character references and we think he has the tools to develop into an FC Dallas center back.”

Gonzalez and co. were overjoyed to grab Burgess at 17th overall with many handshakes and smiles captured on camera after the pick was made official. Burgess, too, is pleased with the organization’s enthusiasm.

“It really feels good to be wanted,” Burgess said. “I’ve played at a couple teams and schools where I didn’t get that feeling and it rubbed me the wrong way. But knowing that somebody wants me to come into their team and hopefully have an important role, is important to me and I look forward to that.

“I’ve been to Dallas once before and I really liked the city but that’s about all I know. I’m looking forward to meeting the fans and meeting all the players and hopefully making some really great relationships.”

Nkosi Burgess: Profiling the No. 14 Pick of the 2020 MLS SuperDraft  -

Burgess is likely a depth pick as Dallas’ first-choice center back partnership of Reto Ziegler and Matt Hedges as among the strongest and most consistent in the league. Burgess will be competing with Bressan and fellow first-round SuperDraft pick Callum Montgomery for playing time in Dallas’ backline. Montgomery, who was the 4th overall pick in 2019, played mainly with North Texas SC last year and it’s possible we could see a similar strategy with Burgess this time around.

A hallmark of Gonzalez’s style requires his defenders playing out of the back, something Burgess admits he looks forward to improving on.

“Some of my strengths are definitely my athleticism and probably my passing. I want to get better with my feet so I can play out of the back because I like playing small sided in small areas. I’m looking forward to getting my feet better and getting better as a player here.”