Burling’s new era with Chivas
Among the players returning to Chivas USA for the 2013 season, defender Bobby Burling is ready for the new era in the Red-and-White.
The Goats have already began showing what’s to come in the season, going unbeaten so far in the preseason. Recently, Burling and Chivas USA defeated South Korean side Gangwon FC; losing 3-0 by the 39th minute, the Red-and-White made a comeback and defeated the K-League team 7-3. Chivas faced their first MLS team early February, a 1-1 draw with Chicago Fire.
“We’re trying to get better, paying attention to detail in each and every match, obviously we haven’t played too many MLS sides but the point of preseason is to build up gradually.”
Aside from roster changes, the Red-and-White club has entered a new era led by Jose Luis Sanchez Solá, a.k.a. “Chelís”, a coach that has sparked interest in the North American media due to his charisma.
“He’s full of energy,” Burling said about Chelís. “It’s a good change of energy from last year, I think it’s a new mentality, it’s a new era in Chivas and everything has been good so far.”
From music during training to playing referee in some preseason scrimmages, one of Chelís’ strongest attributes most recognized among players: honesty.
“There’s no hiding; he’s told us to come to him if we have any problems,” Burling said about Chelís. “I think that’s something you want to hear from a coach or any boss that’s in charge of you and a group of people, you want them to be honest and straightforward and he’s done that.”
Burling re-joined Chivas USA mid-season last year from the Montreal Impact. His first stint with the Red-and-White began in 2007, where the Colorado native played in 23 games (19 starts) until he was traded to the San Jose Earthquakes. During his time with Chivas USA, Burling helped the Goats reach the playoffs and was part of the team that finished in first place of the Western Conference. In the new era, Burling wants the club to return to the spots it took in his first stint with the Red-and-White.
“In the last couple of years, we’ve fallen off for whatever reason and now, we’re just trying to get back to the playoffs just like every year,” Burling said. “The playoffs have shown that anything can happen regardless of what seed you go in.”