Oscar Pareja’s Colorado Rapids were quietly making moves to compile their 2014 roster. Defender Marc Burch was acquired through Stage 1 of the 2013 MLS Re-Entry Process today. Burch, 29, brings eight years of MLS experience to Colorado and has playued in 152 regular season matches with 113 starts. He can play center back or left midfield, but Burch is primarily used as a left back.
Burch was the 11th overall selection in Stage 1 of the process, meaning that the Rapids pick up his contract option for the 2014 season.
“Marc is a versatile and talented left-sided player with a lot of MLS experience,” said Rapids Technical Director Paul Bravo to coloradorapids.com. “He will give us added competition in the back line, and we’re happy to welcome him to our squad.”
Birthdate: May 7, 1984
Hometown: Cincinnati, Ohio
Weight: 180 lbs
Last team: Seattle Sounders FC (MLS)
The contract options on eight players were exercised on Tueday, with nine other under contract entering next year. Eleven other players had their contract options declined, with two more out of contract. Despite that, those latter 13 are in negotiations to return to the team.
The Rapids picked up contract options to bring back Tony Cascio, Atiba Harris, Kamani Hill, Clint Irwin, Chris Klute, Dillon Powers, Vicente Sánchez and Gabriel Torres. Already under contract for 2014 are Deshorn Brown, Edson Buddle, Nick LaBrocca, Drew Moor, Shane O’Neill, Matt Pickens, Dillon Serna, Nathan Sturgis and Marvell Wynne.
Leaving the Rapids are Diego Calderón, Jaime Castrillón and Steward Ceus, while the team is working with Brenton Griffiths, Kory Kindle, Germán Mera, Brian Mullan, Danny Mwanga, Martín Rivero, Jamie Smith, and Hendry Thomas to determine if they will return next season.
“While we’ve had to make some difficult decisions already this offseason, we’re continuing to work hard to assemble our roster for the 2014 season,” Bravo told ColoradoRapids.com. “We’re negotiating with many players from our 2013 roster that we’d like to have back next year, but it’s always a difficult proposition to make everyone fit under the salary cap.
“We are excited about the squad we already have in place and the additions we’re hoping to make in the coming weeks.”
Of the players that will had their contract options declined, Mwanga is one that Bravo is hoping to secure a new deal with.
“Danny is a young player that we’ve invested in and will continue to invest in, since we’re excited by his talent and potential,” said Bravo to reporters. “We’re actively working with his agent, and we hope to soon have an agreement in place that will bring Danny back.
“We think he’s excited about the opportunity [to return]. We believe in Danny, since he’s still young and has a lot of upside. We want to cultivate that and see if we can get more out of him in 2014.”
Finally, the club announced this week that a tryout combine will take place on Jan. 6-7 at Foothills Sports Arena in Lakewood, Colo. The combine is invitation only and players that are interested to apply can click on this link. The deadline for application is Dec. 19.