Addition of Burch gives Sounders depth at left back
SEATTLE — The Sounders saw something they liked in Marc Burch.
Seattle executed a trade with Vancouver shortly before Monday's Stage 2 of the Re-Entry Draft, using the No. 1 pick to select the 27-year-old former D.C. United defender. Known to be a good crosser of the ball from the left side, Burch has also played centrally and at left midfield during his seven seasons in MLS.
In return for the trade, the Whitecaps picked up Seattle’s natural third-round selection in the 2014 MLS SuperDraft – a pick that would become a first-round pick in the 2014 Supplemental Draft should the SuperDraft be only two rounds, as it is in 2012.
"Acquiring Marc Burch is good for our club," said Sounders FC head coach Sigi Schmid in a statement. "He can play the left side, either left back or left midfield, or center back. He helps us replace the loss of Tyson Wahl. I coached Marc in Columbus and I look forward to working with him again."
Burch (6-foot-1, 185 lbs.) played for Schmid in Columbus during the 2006 season. Burch began the 2007 season with the Crew, but was traded to D.C. on April 4, 2007. In '08 and '09, Burch appeared in 54 total matches for D.C., including 46 starts.
The primarily left-sided player struggled with injuries to his right foot in 2010, limiting him to only four appearances. Burch bounced back in 2011, appearing 17 times (11 starts) for D.C. while tallying one goal and one assist.
The seven-year veteran should provide another versatile defensive option in 2012 and beyond. Seattle’s only other tested left back is Leo González, with youngster Michael Tetteh waiting in the wings. The Sounders saw fullbacks James Riley and Wahl depart on the day of the Expansion Draft, and have been on the hunt for replacements ever since.
With Seattle competing in the CONCACAF Champions League and the US Open Cup once again, depth will be important. A total of 32 players took the field in a competitive match for the club during the 2011 season.
Jaqua, Noonan out
While one player came in, the Sounders also saw two veteran strikers depart on Monday, with Nate Jaqua and Pat Noonan chosen by the New England Revolution and LA Galaxy, respectively. Both players played key roles in Seattle’s success in the USOC and CCL, but struggled with injuries that limited their MLS playing time.
Jaqua, 30, had been with the team since its inaugural MLS season, tallying nine goals and seven assists in 27 starts in the 2009 campaign. However, a series of injuries limited him to a substitute’s role in the past two seasons, and his numbers have dipped. He hasn’t scored in league play since 2009, but was named the US Open Cup Player of the Tournament in 2010.
"Obviously, we wish Nate well in New England," said Schmid. "It's unfortunate he won't be back with our team, but this is a fresh opportunity for him and we wish him all the best."
Noonan, 31, started 10 MLS regular-season matches in the past two seasons after being waived by Colorado in March of 2010. Despite making 21 regular-season appearances for Seattle (10 starts) over the past two seasons, Noonan recorded only one goal and one assist.
Injuries also hampered Noonan, a former MLS All-Star and US national team player, who ended the 2010 season on the Disabled List.
"Pat's done well for us but has been injury-plagued,” said Schmid. “It's too bad he won't be with us, however we wish him good health and success in LA.”
Seattle kick off their 2012 campaign on March 7 at CenturyLink Field against Santos Laguna in the first leg of their CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal series.