Commerce City, Colo. - Former Chivas USA and San Jose Earthquakes defender Bobby Burling played the full 90 mintues for the Colorado Rapids in Wednesday's Reserve League 2-2 draw with the Houston Dynamo. The Monument, Colo. native is currently without a team, and has returned to his home state while exploring opportunities.
"It felt good," Burling said of playing the full match. "The guys made me feel comfortable within the team. It was a good group today. We fought back after giving up a late goal. It's a fair result, to be honest."
Burling was drafted by the LA Galaxy in the 4th round of the 2004 MLS SuperDraft out of Loyola Marymount University, but after not being signed, he joined Chivas USA. The 6-5 forward was shifted to center back and made his MLS debut in his second season, when he played in 20 games for Chivas. Traded to San Jose in 2009, he played a career high 23 games last year for the Earthquakes.
When his MLS contracted ended in December, the 'Quake's left him exposed to the Expansion Draft and he was selected by his former Chivas USA teammate and coach of the new Montreal Impact selected, Jesse Marsch. However the two sides could not come to a contract agreement, which has left Burling in search of a new team.
"There's some talk with the league, but I'm also looking at options overseas," Burling said. "I was ready to go to Montreal and play for Jesse Marsch, and things kind of went backwards. Now I'm kind of tied with them holding my rights."
Montreal holds Burling's rights within MLS, so any move to another MLS team would likely require obtaining his rights from the Impact via trade. But the graduate of Monument's Lewis-Palmer High School is free to look for options outside of MLS, and he recently finished a trial with Belgium club Sint-Truiden, as well as with a team in Germany's third division.
"All doors are open at this point, I'm not ruling out anything," said the 27-year-old. "I'm just trying to stay fit as best I can."
Burling was one of two players being looked at by the Rapids staff. The other trialist to play in the Reserve game was right back Kevin Garcia, who was selected by the New England Revolution in the 2012 Supplemental Draft out of Villanova. Garcia headed in the game-tying goal in stoppage after coming on at halftime.