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January 3, 2012 at 3:27 PM

It’s finally done: Sounders sign re-entry draft pick Marc Burch

burch mug.jpgIt only took three weeks, but Sounders FC announced Tuesday that it has signed defender Marc Burch. The 27-year-old was acquired in the MLS Re-Entry Process, when Seattle traded up for the No. 1 overall pick in the Stage 2 draft on Dec. 12.

Per MLS and team policy, terms were not disclosed. The 6-foot-1 Burch made $95,000 last year in salary ($97,500 in guaranteed compensation) in his last of five seasons with D.C. United. Those numbers almost certainly came down in this latest deal.

Burch, who played for coach Sigi Schmid in Columbus for parts of 2006 and 2007 seasons, could contend for the starting job at left back next season with Leo Gonzalez.

“I’m excited to take another step forward in my career and to play again for Sigi in Seattle,” Burch said in a news release. “Seattle has made an impact during its short history since coming into league. I’ve always respected the way the Sounders played and I just want to help push them further.”

“The Sounders have done well in their first few seasons, making the playoffs and winning the Open Cup. I would like to help them take that next step, to go further in the Champions League and the MLS playoffs. I believe they have what it takes to win an MLS Cup and hopefully I can help them achieve that.”

Added Schmid in the release: “He will be a welcome addition to an already deep team.”

This move has been expected for a while. General manager Adrian Hanauer said a couple times that he was confident in coming to terms. Burch is Seattle’s third signing of the offseason — following goalkeeper Michael Gspurning and right back Adam Johansson — and the second on defense. Following the 2011 season, Schmid said he’d like to see improvement from the back line, specifically the outside backs.

A six-year league veteran, Burch has made 81 starts in 103 regular season appearances and had three career goals and 10 assists. He started 11 of his 17 games played in 2011.

The Sounders traded a third-round pick in 2014 to Vancouver in order to move up in the re-entry draft to acquire Burch.

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