CARSON, Calif. – After a trying few months that has seen him traverse the globe in search of a club, Bobby Burling is need of some stability. And he may have found just that with Chivas USA.
Burling played 90 minutes during the club’s Reserve League victory over the San Jose Earthquakes on Friday, displaying the commanding presence that has become his hallmark throughout his six-year MLS career. The match was Burling’s first in a Chivas uniform since he was dealt to the Earthquakes in 2009.
In the midst of a difficult few months, Burling admitted that he was pleased to return to a team that he described as his “second home.”
“Robin [Fraser] and Greg [Vanney] have been nice enough to have me train, it’s been a good week,” said Burling. “Any time you can come in with a team, go 90 minutes and get a result then it’s always fun to get fitness in again … it’s been a frustrating five or six months, to say the least, but anytime that you can get in with a group of guys and in the environment again, then it’s always fun.”
Burling’s frustration began when he was selected by the Montreal Impact in November’s Expansion Draft, bringing his two-and-a-half years with San Jose to a close. Currently, the Impact own Burling’s rights, meaning a trade would be required to get him to Chivas or any other MLS club.
But with the 27-year-old not in the plans of former teammate and current Montreal coach Jesse Marsch, he has shopped his services around Europe in hopes of a club over the last month-and-a-half. In addition to trialing with clubs in Belgium and Germany, Burling played last week with the Colorado Rapids reserves before heading to Southern California to join Chivas.
“It’s a bit of an unfortunate circumstance," he said, "long story short, it’s a bit of a contract dispute of he said, she said, what I was going to get when I went up there and basically things went backwards from there, and here we stand. It’s frustrating. I was looking forward to going there and now it’s up in the air.”
Despite the circumstances in Quebec appearing untenable, Burling has remained persistent in his search for a new club.
“The situation with Montreal has been kind of a dead-end for whatever reason and it’s taken a little longer than I would have liked,” said Burling. “The waiting game is just part of the business, unfortunately. The situation that I’ve been in has been tough at times, but if the opportunity comes to train then it’s always good to train.”
Morrison looking to join Chivas
Burling is not the only trialist looking to latch on with the Rojiblancos as Scottish right back Scott Morrison is currently finishing up a two-week trial with the club.
Morrison, who spent last season with Scottish First Division champions Ross County, went 78 minutes in the reserves' win over the Earthquakes.
The defender, who missed his sister’s wedding for a shot at the Chivas roster, admits that the trial has been “toughest two weeks of his career.”
“[The trial] has gone great, I’ve really enjoyed it and everyone has been welcoming and given me the platform to express myself and show everyone what I can do,” said Morrson. “I’ll speak to them in the next couple of days and we’ll see what happens.
Adam Serrano covers Chivas USA for MLSsoccer.com. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org