When the Seattle Sounders traded up to the No. 1 overall pick in the MLS Re-Entry Draft in order to select departing D.C. United defender Marc Burch, we wished Burch well, while collectively wondering if the Sounders had watched a single game he had played in his MLS career.
When they named him a starter, we continued to wonder.
Burch was apparently asked to renegotiate his contract with United this offseason prior to his release, but I'm not so sure why. He had lost his starting job to a guy who had been playing in the minor leagues just months earlier, and had begun to regress as a player. But more importantly, he was a part of the culture of losing that had taken over the United locker room in recent years, and that Ben Olsen has been trying to eradicate.
I may have been the biggest Burch apologist during his time in D.C. Well now the gloves are coming off.
Burch spoke to the Seattle Times this week about returning to D.C. for the first time since he was cut this offseason.
"They had the opportunity to keep me and they didn't," said the 27-year-old, who played collegiately at Maryland. "It's time to go back and prove that I don't believe their left back is better than I am. If that's what they think, then that's what they think.
"It's time to go back there and prove that we have a much better team here."
I just want to be clear. I believe that our left back Daniel Woolard is better than Marc Burch. Everyone affiliated with United believes that too. After the match on Saturday night, everyone in Seattle will believe that too.
Burch has always been a bit of a one-hit wonder. Sure, he's got a powerful left foot that's netted him all of three goals in seven MLS seasons. For every one of those three goals, there are dozens of shots that went high or wide or right into the wall. For every one of his 11 career assists, there are dozens of crosses that either missed their target, were blocked by the opposing defender due to Burch's predictability, or never got off the ground because his slow ass took too long to try to set it up perfectly.
Dude, you're going to face Danny Cruz on Saturday. Better not lose focus for even a second, because Cruz will take notice and take advantage. And then just when Cruz his worn you down by running at you all night, United will bring on Andy Najar. I can't wait.
If there's anything good to come out of this, its that MLS's elite cross-country rivalry has a bit of new blood. I was worried that the Seattle-D.C. rivalry (the Washington Derby, per Charles Boehm) was beginning to fade, but thanks to Burch, its been reignited.
Eff off, Burch. Eff off, Sounders.