Sounders FC defender Marc Burch admits that he has given some thought to his near-miss header that would have given Seattle a win over his former team, D.C. United, on Saturday.
“A lot,” he said Monday as the Sounders returned to training. “ I could have scored it. It was just something that popped up a little quicker than I expected. It happens. We could have stolen three points. But the tie is good enough.”
The play unfolded in the final minute of the scoreless draw. Osvaldo Alonso fired a shot that goalkeeper Joe Willis knocked away. The ball deflected directly to Burch, who was running to the far post. He got his head to the ball, but it went off the top left portion of the frame.
“(D.C. midfielder Chris) Pontius said he didn’t think he would have ever played again if I would have scored because I was his man,” Burch said. “They all know I can still play. They would have been so happy for me in a couple of weeks if I would have scored. On that night they wouldn’t have been, but those are my friends.”
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Burch played for D.C. from 2007-11. But there was a contract dispute over the offseason, and he was available for Seattle to select in the re-entry draft.
In the week leading up to the game, Burch indicated he felt disrespected by his former club, and said he was eager to show that he is a better left back than Daniel Woolard, the man who replaced him.
However, when the game rolled around, Woolard was in United’s starting lineup, and Burch was on Seattle’s bench.
Coach Sigi Schmid said that had nothing to do with Burch’s public comments, but instead with recent strong training and reserve play by Leo Gonzalez, and the belief that Gonzalez might match up better against D.C.
Similarly, Schmid said he sent Burch on late because he valued height in case there was a late cross in front of the United goal.
Burch’s late introduction was greeted by boos from the crowd of 15,651 at RFK Stadium.
“I was pretty happy with how they responded,” Burch said. “ I appreciate them all having that kind of passion towards me. It gave me a little bit of energy; it gave me a little bit of run. I wish I would have put it away. It would have been a real nice one.”
The Sounders will play an MLS Reserve League game against Portland at 7 p.m. today at Starfire Sports Stadium in Tukwila. Schmid said forwards Eddie Johnson and Cordell Cato will probably play about 45 minutes each. Midfielder Mauro Rosales (knee) and defender Adam Johansson (hamstring) will not play in the reserve game, and their status for the home league match Saturday against Colorado is undetermined. New York striker Thierry Henry won MLS player of the week honors again Monday, becoming the first player to win in three consecutive weeks.