The other half of the news from earlier today that defender Scott Gordon was waived by Chivas USA has been revealed. The Goats have acquired the rights of defender Bobby Burling from the Montreal Impact, in exchange for an international roster spot for 2013 (to be returned to Chivas in 2014). Although Montreal held Burling's rights after selecting him in the Expansion Draft this past offseason, he was not under contract to the club and had been on trial with Chivas recently. My assumption with this trade is that Chivas have also already agreed to contract terms with Burling, but of course we won't know anything about that for some time, if ever.
If he's a familiar name, that's because Burling played for Chivas from 2007-2009, making a total of 23 appearances during that span. As a player with a connection to Chivas' highpoint as far as on-field success, perhaps he can provide the squad with a veteran presence and a knowledge base of "the old days" of Chivas USA.After being traded to the San Jose Earthquakes in 2009, Burling made 48 appearances through last season, when he was selected by Montreal. Think of this as a Brian Ching-lite situation, in which the Impact apparently wanted to pick Burling up in order to flip him for another player/money/international slot/draft pick, and while it took some time, they accomplished that goal today.
Burling will become another back-up at center back, joining John Valencia. Although Danny Califf and Rauwshan McKenzie seem like the clear cut first choice pairing, Burling and Valencia are sure to see some action over the course of the season, and I wouldn't be surprised if Burling gets a shot ahead of Valencia when the chance arises. Although I suggested earlier that the team has no back-up to James Riley, beat writer Adam Serrano told me that Valencia has been playing right back in reserve matches recently. Although the depth seems a bit thin, if the starters stay healthy, then hopefully we won't have to worry about back-ups very much. Regardless, welcome back Bobby!
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