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Chicago Fire Sign 2022 First-Round Pick Kendall Burks

The 22-year-old defender split his collegiate career with California State University Bakersfield and the University of Washington.
Kendall Burks Chicago Fire

Photo: Chicago Fire FC

The Chicago Fire signed Kendall Burks through the 2023 MLS season with options for 2024-25, the club announced Friday.

Chicago selected the 22-year-old defender with the 11th overall pick in the first round of the 2022 MLS SuperDraft following a trade with the New York Red Bulls. The Fire sent the No. 7 pick to the Red Bulls for the No. 11 pick and $100,000 in 2022 General Allocation Monday (GAM). New York used the No. 7 pick to select Navy defender Matt Nocita.

“Kendall is a talented young player who we believe has the tools to compete for playing time in multiple positions during his rookie season,” Chicago sporting director Georg Heitz said in a release. “We’re very pleased that he has decided to begin his professional career in Chicago, despite having options to play overseas, and look forward to seeing his continued growth within our environment.”

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Burks played for California State University Bakersfield (2018-19) and the University of Washington (2021) during his collegiate career. He helped the Huskies reach the 2021 NCAA national championship match, where they fell 2-0 to Clemson.

Burks trained with English Championship side Nottingham Forest this winter, but joined the Fire for preseason camp earlier this month.