Nkosi Burgess on left with his youth soccer coach, Frank Vertullo
By Randy Vogt, Director of Public Relations, Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association
January 14, 2020-Deer Park resident Nkosi Burgess was selected by FC Dallas with the 14th pick in the first round of the MLS SuperDraft on January 9.
Burgess played three seasons with the University of Connecticut (46 games) before transferring to play for Seattle University in his last year of eligibility. In 2019, he played 20 games and had one goal and an assist en route to being named Western Athletic Conference (WAC) Defensive Player of the Year. Burgess helped Seattle earn 10 shutouts in his only season as a Redhawk.
“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,” FC Dallas coach 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.”
“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,” Burgess said. “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.”
On March 24, 2012, Burgess scored a wonder goal at Dowling College in Shirley that was honored as the US Youth Soccer National Goal of the Year. He received a 40-yard free kick and flicked the ball into the air with his right foot, then scored on an 8-yard overhead kick. He had celebrated his 15th birthday the day before his great goal.
The video of the goal is linked here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sZDswDwuvrA
Nkosi was playing for the Dix Hills Heat, defending Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association
(ENYYSA) State Open Cup champions at the time, in a Boys-Under-15 game against another Long Island Junior Soccer League
(LIJSL) team, Hauppauge Brazil. Dix Hills won the game, 2-0.
The video went viral and garnered over a million hits on You Tube the first two weeks after the goal. ESPN also posted the video.
With approximately 100,000 youth soccer players––both boys and girls––and more than 25,000 volunteers, the non-profit Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association (ENYYSA) stretches from Montauk Point, Long Island to the Canadian border. Members are affiliated with nine leagues throughout the association, which covers the entire state of New York east of Route 81. ENYYSA exists to promote and enhance the game of soccer for children and teenagers between the ages of 5 and 19 years old, and to encourage the healthy development of youth players, coaches, referees and administrators. All levels of soccer are offered––from intramural, travel team and premier players as well as Children With Special Needs. No child who wants to play soccer is turned away. ENYYSA is a proud member of the United States Soccer Federation and United States Youth Soccer Association. For more information, please log on to http://www.enysoccer.com/, which receives nearly 300,000 hits annually from the growing soccer community.