Irakoze

Three months after selecting University of Virginia midfielder Irakoze Donasiyano with its first pick in the MLS SuperDraft, Nashville SC has locked up the 5-foot-9 prospect for at least this year with the possibility of stretching the contract for three more seasons after that.

Donasiyano, the 20th overall pick back in January’s draft, signed with NSC through at least 2021 with the option to extend each year until 2024. He’s the first player from Nashville’s 2021 draft class to sign a professional contract.

“Koze has a lot of positive attributes that really mesh well with our team,” General Manager Mike Jacobs said in a team release. “His athleticism and work-rate help him cover a lot of ground on both sides of the ball, and he has a tremendous attitude and energy that make him a real competitor. His versatility enables him to play multiple roles in the group as well.”

Donasiyano has been practicing with the club for more than two weeks and will join NSC as it prepares to host Inter Miami CF on Sunday at Nissan Stadium. His versatility could be invaluable moving forward: The 23-year-old primarily played fullback during his last two seasons at UVA, but Jacobs stated during the SuperDraft the goal was for Donasiyano to play midfield after trading Derrick Jones.

However, he could also see time at right back should Alistair Johnston earn a call up to the Canadian National Team during World Cup qualifier matches.

A Tanzania native, Donasiyano became a U.S. citizen last year and Nashville SC will not have to use an international roster spot for him. During his career with the Cavaliers, he had five goals and 18 points in 65 career matches. He was an All-ACC third-team selection in 2019 and ranked fourth on the team with 14 points.

Follow Michael Gallagher on Twitter @MGsports_

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