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Is Burchie the bomb?

Definitively yes! Or at least the potential is there for Marc Burch to really emerge as a weapon this year. For a few reasons…

I had a moment of realization during the Harbour View game last week. It was in the second half, and Burch had just gone on a long overlapping run behind Fred. Well somehow DC lost possession, and HVFC went on a counter attack, sending the ball up the right wing into the space that Burch had left unoccupied. But a streaking Gonzalo Peralta beat the HVFC player to the ball and shut down the attack.

But what would have happened last year? Probably the HVFC player would have beat Boswell or Vanney to the ball. Perkins would have had to come charging out and probably would have stopped the attacker, but it would have been pretty dangerous. Or more likely, Burch wouldn't have gone on his overlapping run at all.

I don't know if this very play is what the front office had in mind when acquiring los Gonzalos and dumping Boswell and Vanney, but it is certainly a bit of added equity. Because we've now got two capable center backs with a lot of speed, the flank backs now should have much more freedom to drift up into the attack. Burch and Namoff shouldn't have to worry as much about leaving their territory exposed, because Peralta and Martinez each have the speed to cover.

When Burch goes on these runs up the flank, United shifts temporarily into a 3-5-2. Burch can use his left foot to send in a cross, or one of his famous Burchie-bombs. But this also gives United another option, because with Burch on the left, guess where Fred goes… The middle of course! His favorite! And our formation will look something like this:

So not only will Burch develop more scoring opportunities as a result of the added speed in the back, but I think Fred could also see some residuals too. And that leads to our second reason why Burchie is the bomb. I alluded to it in my DCU/HVFC game review, but the communication between Fred and Burch is key. They seem to have developed some chemistry which will allow each of them to elevate their games.

And finally, the last reason that Burchie will be the bomb this year is just the fact that the team is playing a bit more variety of competition. When Burch first started getting starts at left back last year, no one knew who he was and he was able to create opportunities. But later in the year, the rest of the league got bit wiser, and began to mark his left foot more closely. But the rest of the world still has no idea who Marc Burch is. So his left foot will still be a major weapon in all of these international competitions.

Burch is one to watch this year. 1 goal and 3 assists last year is certainly a pretty good showing for a defender, but we could see his stats go even higher in 2008.