DALLAS — FC Dallas center back Nkosi Burgess knows a thing or two about making game saving plays. But his biggest save wasn’t on the soccer field. It was in the food court of the Stonebriar Mall.

What You Need To Know

  • In June, Nkosi Burgess saved a woman’s life from choking on a Chick-fil-A sandwich

  • FC Dallas selected Nkosi with the 14th overall pick in the 2020 MLS SuperDraft

  • The 23-year-old center back is still waiting to make his debut with the team

As he was returning an item, there was an alarming commotion at one of the tables: a woman choking.

“I see her bending over, clutching her stomach and another hand over her throat,” said Burgess. “At that point, I was like something is definitely wrong."

And there was. As the woman continued to struggle, several people around her froze, unable to help. That’s when Burgess came to the rescue.

“I went over, gave her the Heimlich and it was pretty quick. After one thrust, the food came up,” Burgess said. “She was just in shock. I told her to take her time and relax.”

It was such a traumatic experience for the woman, she did not feel comfortable being interviewed to recall what happened. She also declined to have her last name published. Kelly told Spectrum News 1 she doesn’t like eating in the food court anymore because it triggers that painful memory. But she still thinks about her hero daily.

“I was just an innocent bystander walking by trying to help. I would’ve done it to anyone in that food court honestly,” said Burgess. “She was very grateful. I still keep in touch with her."

Funny enough, Kelly did not recognize Burgess as a professional soccer player. That didn’t register until well after the fact. But FC Dallas and Burgess certainly have a new fan now.

“She told me she didn’t know too much about soccer. But she said she’ll be keeping up, watching games and following up on my career,” said Burgess.

Speaking of games, FC Dallas’ chances of clinching an MLS Cup championship fell short in Tuesday’s conference semi-final loss to Seattle. The Sounders will advance in the MLS Cup playoffs after a 1-0 victory. As a rookie, Burgess has used this season as an opportunity to develop his game.

"This entire season I’ve kind of been learning and growing. I haven’t made my debut yet. But when I do, I’ll be ready."

And so will Kelly. She’ll be watching and cheering on when that moment does come.