Bobby Burling

Who’s likely to land where in the Chivas USA dispersal draft? Mocking it out…

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Teams around Major League Soccer will get instant upgrades on Wednesday when the league holds a dispersal draft for the players of now-defunct Chivas USA.

Several players will either be unavailable or have uncertain status heading into the draft. The Goats’ best asset is unavailable, as Erick “Cubo” Torres belongs to Liga MX’s Chivas. MLS may be working out a deal to buy the young Mexican star, but that won’t keep him in the draft.

Ecuador’s World Cup midfielder Oswaldo Minda is out of contract in December, so a team could theoretically choose him and try to work out a new contract. That seems unlikely, and a few other Chivas USA players were on loan to the club, so forget about Felix Borja, Leandro Barrera and Luis Bolanos. Eriq Zavaleta is Sounders property, while Eric Avila is being sold to Santos Laguna.

[ MLS: Philadelphia adds former Fulham boss Meulensteen ]

There’s also the ban on trading picks, though one wonders if that prohibits teams from trading the players after they’ve been selected.

So where does that leave us for the draft? Let’s try mocking it out. There will likely be more than a few “passes” here, but we’ll assume everyone takes a player and have a little fun with a lot of spitballing.

1. FC Dallas – The top player on the board is goalkeeper Dan Kennedy, who worked wonders for the Goats. But FCD doesn’t necessarily need an upgrade at keeper with Peru national teamer Raul Fernandez and longtime backup Chris Seitz in the fold. Will they choose Kennedy?

I don’t think so. For one thing, Oscar Pareja has already worked with Chivas USA midfielders Marvin Chavez and Nathan Strugis in Colorado. Plus, there are arguments to be made for a pair of Texas-born players, forward Kris Tyrpak and defender Bobby Burling, but I think in the end it will be hard for Pareja and company to pass on 19-year-old Homegrown midfielder Marco “Marky” Delgado.

2. New York City FC – If Dallas leaves Kennedy alone, NYCFC is in the catbird seat. To be able to walk into MLS with an established goalkeeper who knows the league would be a boon for the expansion side. With Orlando City having traded for Tally Hall, the league would have two new teams with experienced keepers. The pick is Dan Kennedy.

3. Sporting Kansas City – They need goals, but Chivas USA only scored 29 so there aren’t exactly loads to go around. Given the injury problems that thrust Erik Palmer-Brown into the Starting XI this summer, Sporting goes for an instant boost on D. Burling is a possibility, but I think Andrew Jean-Baptiste moves to KC.

4. DC United – They know how to defend, so DC United settles for the hopes of production by adding winger Marvin Chavez

5. New England Revolution – Chivas USA only saw second-round midfielder Thomas McNamara for a limited time, but the man made an impact before suffering a major knee injury. Jay Heaps can bet on the New York native and see what happens.

After this point, total crapshoot:

source: Getty Images
Kaji

6. Montreal Impact – Caleb Calvert, HGP and F

7. Orlando City SC- Agustin Pelletieri, CDM

8. Colorado Rapids – Kris Tyrpak, F

9. San Jose Earthquakes – Bobby Burling, D

10. Real Salt Lake – Matt Dunn, M

11. Houston Dynamo – Ryan Finley, F

12. Portland Timbers – Tony Lochhead, D

13. Chicago Fire – Akira Kaji, D

14. Toronto FC – Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, D

15. Columbus Crew SC – Trevor Spangenberg, GK

16. LA Galaxy –Oswaldo Minda, M

17. Philadelphia Union – Martin Rivero, M

18. New York Red Bulls – Donny Toia, D

19. Seattle Sounders FC – Nathan Sturgis, M

20. Vancouver Whitecaps FC – Michael Nwiloh, D

 

Bobby Burling signs new two-year deal with Chivas USA

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Chivas USA announced on Thursday that it signed defender Bobby Burling to a two-year contract extension through the 2015 season. Burling has appeared in 19 games in 2013, starting 14, in his second stint with the Los Angeles club.

“Obviously, I have a special place in me for this club,” Burling said in a club release. “It’s the second time I’ve been here, and there are a lot of familiar faces. I just want to be part of the rebuilding process, and I’m excited to be able to stay in L.A. and be a part of the turnaround of this club.”

Burling joined Chivas USA in 2007 from the crosstown Los Angeles Galaxy, after the latter selected him in the MLS Supplemental Draft. The Montreal Impact selected him in the 2011 Expansion Draft from the San Jose Earthquakes, where he moved in 2009, and the Impact traded his rights back to Chivas before the season began.

“It’s a joy to be able to count on Bobby being here for the next two seasons,” director of soccer Francisco Palencia said. “He’s someone that displays a level of professionalism, is a quality player and above all has supported the team — because he is a person with experience that knows the club and the league very well. It’s a great thing for us that he has signed with the club and that he will be a part of the team for the next two years.”

Burling is in the club’s top 10 in games started and minutes played in 2013, logging 1,336 minutes so far.

Major League Soccer team previews: CHIVAS USA

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Each day from now until the beginning of Major League Soccer’s 18th season, we will preview one Eastern Conference team and one from the West. First kick is March 2.

No. 9 in the West is Chivas USA:

(MORE: the entire roster of ProSoccerTalk’s Major League Soccer previews and predictions)

Significant additions and subtractions: There’s the impression Chivas USA have undergone wholesale changes, but five of the club’s top seven in 2012 minutes played are still on the team. Right back James Riley, however, was number two on that list, and he was given away to D.C. United. Nick LaBrocca is also gone (Colorado), as are a number of significant contributors further down the list: Danny Califf (Toronto), Ben Zemanski (Portland), and Alejandro Moreno (Philadelphia’s TV booth).

Sharlie Joseph, who had become an albatross on the club’s payroll, was pawned off on Seattle yesterday. If that’s any indication, there are still more changes coming. And unfortunately for Chivas fans, the acquisitions of Eric Avila and Steve Purdy don’t quite make up for the losses. Carlos Alvarez, the No. 2 overall pick out of UConn, may end up being the team’s biggest player acquisition.

The biggest overall addition: El Chelís – new head coach José Luís Sánchez Solá. The former Puebla boss has injected personality into an organization that had gone catatonic during Robin Fraser’s last months.

source: Getty ImagesStrengths: There’s only one relative strength, and that’s in goal. Dan Kennedy is an All-Star caliber player, but as we saw last year, even the best keepers can be worn down  when over-exposed. Can Kennedy extend his excellence farther into this season? If he does, he’ll be doing it with less talent in front of him.

Pressure points: Unfortunately, they’re everywhere, leaving Chivas with a bunch of ifs, all of which need to come good for the Goats to be even average at their trouble spots:

  • [FORWARDS] IF Juan Agudelo plays to his potential and can produce like a league average striker, Chivas’s attack will be much improved. But for the attack as a whole to produce like a typical MLS offensive, they’ll need more production from Miller Bolaños, Jose Correa, and Tristan Bowan. All of them.
  • [MIDFIELDERS] Even IF Alvarez and Avila play to their potentials and Oswaldo Minda can stay on the field a bit more, the midfield looks weak. At best, it’s thin, though Sueño Villafaña could always help.
  • [DEFENDERS] IF the defense gels — and defenses can always gel with good coaching — Kennedy will avoid some of last year’s exposure. But Chelís has his work cut out of him crafting a viable back four from Purdy, Villafaña, Bobby Burling, and the returning Carlos Borja. Thankfully, Rauwshan MacKenzie and Ante Jazic are still around. For now.

Difference maker: Chivas only scored 24 goals in 34 games last season. That has to improve, and nobody is as capable of lifting that total as Juan Agudelo. Unfortunately, that means Chivas is relying on a player who has only scored 10 league goals in 3142 career minutes. That’s a goal every 3.5 games.

Potential breakout player: Eric Avila has all the skills to be an above-average MLS player, but in 107 career appearances, the former Dallas and Toronto midfielder has only made 37 starts. This year the 25-year-old will get all the time he needs to show he can be a part of a team’s core. If he breaks out, you could see corresponding improvement from Agudelo and Correa.

Bottom line: It all comes down to Chelís. If he finds the right formula, of course Chivas can improve. We’ve seen good coaches make meals of leftovers.

Unfortunately for Chivas fans, there just aren’t enough quality ingredients for this team to be competitive. It’s a transition year. Hopefully.