The strange journey of defender Bobby Burling has finally come with an MLS contract in 2012. Today, Chivas USA announced that they have signed Burling, and he will be eligible for tomorrow's match against the Colorado Rapids. As per league regulations, terms of the contract were not announced.
To be perfectly honest, I think this was one of the weirdest stories of the season. Burling was selected by the Montreal Impact in the offseason after spending the past two seasons with the San Jose Earthquakes. Prior to that, from 2007 to 2009, Burling was a member of Chivas, so he'll be returning to his former club.
Burling has been training with Chivas for months, and his rights were obtained July 6 in a trade with Montreal in exchange for a 2013 International roster spot. But since Burling wasn't under contract to Montreal, Chivas had to take the next step and actually sign him. That it took a full six weeks to sign a reserve defender is what is so strange. I'm not sure if Chivas were waiting in order to pay him less, if Burling played hardball with little leverage, or what the deal was, but they evidently figured, why rush?As I've noted, Burling will add depth to the center back position, and with the number of games Chivas needs to make up in the coming months, he may get a start or two before the end of the season. Still, it seems unlikely he'll be playing significant minutes for the rest of the season unless one of the starters gets injured or suspended for any length of time. Still, the guy who's been training and playing in Chivas' reserve matches for months is now officially able to play in real games too. Welcome aboard Bobby (for reals this time)!
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