Marc Burch has a dangerous left foot. The man nearly beat John Busch in Chicago last month on a set piece and he left LA's Steve Cronin standing on his line as his 30-yard free kick smashed off of the cross bar last Sunday. Tonight, he again showed his skill, scoring on two second half free kicks, leading United to a 2-0 win over the Rochester Rhinos and into the U.S. Open Cup semifinals. The full account is here. With the win, United is unbeaten in seven matches (6-0-1) in all competitions and have a week to prepare to host the Chicago Fire at the Maryland SoccerPlex.
So after scoring on two free kicks, Mr. Obvious (who was in attendance tonight) might ask, "Why didn't Burch take the free kick at the end of the game?"
Good question. United players and coaches, alike, had the same thought. Here's how Marc explained in the locker room afterward:
"Can you believe Fred? I mean, he looks at me and says 'I'll take this one.' I'm like, 'really?' And he says, 'no, I'm kidding.' Then he proceeds to go up and kick the ball over the goal!'
Fred soon entered the room to rousing laughter and had this to add:
"I was joking with Burchy that I was going to take the kick. I was going to run over the ball, though. As I went up to it, though, I saw a hole in the wall and, all of the sudden, I kicked it. It was instinct and I had no idea what I was doing. I'm sorry coach."
Cue more laughter. Winning games is fun.