2024 Season

Nico Gordon: From England to Texas, how North Texas SC found its new captain

3.15 Nico Gordon profile DL

There will be an experienced figure in central defense for North Texas SC when the club opens its 2024 season against Whitecaps FC 2 on Friday evening.

Nico Gordon, a senior international with Montserrat, joined North Texas (FC Dallas’ second team) from Birmingham City FC in the EFL Championship, England’s competitive second division. With 15 Championship games and six international caps to his name already, Gordon begins his MLS NEXT Pro career as one of the most high-profile players in North Texas’ five-year history.

“Nico’s somebody who we feel is really important for our club,” said North Texas SC head coach John Gall. “He has a ton of experience at the league level in the Championship and also at the international level, it's really important that we bring people that have been in these high-octane environments.”

Gordon’s signing is something of a coup for North Texas, a club mainly comprised of talented but inexperienced prospects. It’s a squad that’s never short on skill but often lacks that particular nous that only comes from playing dozens of professional games. Although still just 21, Gordon has that experience having made his Birmingham City debut back in 2020. But a change of head coach meant Gordon’s Birmingham career didn’t progress as he’d hoped. In search of more playing time, Gordon began looking for greener pastures.

Head coach Gall, a native of Wales, was made aware of Gordon’s availability thanks to brother, Kevin Gall, a UK-based agent. He wasted no time in bringing Gordon to North Texas with an eye of progressing the young center back to the FC Dallas first team in the future.

“We certainly didn't bring Nico just to help the team, we want to help Nico too,” Gall explained. “This an opportunity for Nico to continue to progress as a young player, since he’s still very young. We want to try and push him to become an MLS player.”

Although Gordon had visited North America when playing internationally for Montserrat, a British Overseas Territory in the Caribbean where his mother was born, moving across the Atlantic was no small move.

“It’s obviously very different but the independence is good for me,” Gordon said. “In England, I was always living with my mom and siblings. It's just good for me to grow up, I'm having to make my own meals, look after my house. It's good for me. Obviously, I'm getting older now, I'm turning 22 in April. So, it's a big step for me, but on the pitch it’s been very good.”

Nico Gordon (left) competing in North Texas SC's preseason match against FC Tulsa

He may be far from home but Gordon quickly acclimated to his new team. After completing preseason with North Texas, and considering his experience, Gordon earned the captain's armband ahead of the season-opener.

“I know I'm one of the older guys so I’m privileged to be named as captain for the team,” Gordon said. “I just hope to help everyone. Anyone can come talk to me if they need advice. I like to show my leadership with how I play. Obviously, I like to talk a lot too, but the way I play I want to make sure people can look at me and want to raise their levels to be as high as mine. That's my main focus.”

Gordon’s calm presence in the backline could be vital for North Texas as the club hopes to shore up a defense that proved to be its Achilles heel in the previous campaign. Between his leadership qualities and past experiences, Gordon is hoping to lead to the club to a strong start in its home opener.

“I’ve been so excited all week,” he admitted. “I've been so focused, even when I'm home and relaxing. I’ve just been watching a lot of Champions League, watching a lot of old videos and just focused the test on Friday. Obviously, it's a big game for us, especially with the results from preseason, but that's gone now. I just want to set everything straight on Friday.”



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