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‘Back where I want to be’ - Burke looks forward to Philly reUNION

Published:Sunday | October 11, 2020 | 12:13 AMLivingston Scott - Sunday Gleaner Writer
Burke
Burke

Jamaican striker Cory Burke, who returned to Major League Soccer (MLS) club Philadelphia Union this week after more than a year out due to visa-related issues, is happy to be back in the league and is looking to pick up where he left off with the club.

In May 2019, Burke lost his status while in the process of applying for his green card.

However, the process to regain his visa was a long and winding one, which eventually led to his extended absence from the Union, which is also the team of national goalkeeper and captain, Andre Blake.

Burke spent time on loan with local champions Portmore United, scoring 11 goals in 18 games, before another loan move to Austria, where he netted four times in 11 appearances.

NO BETTER FEELING

However, the lanky striker said there could be no better feeling than regaining his place in the US top-flight club after more than a year in the wilderness.

“It is one of the best feelings to be where you really want to be. I can’t feel much better than how I am feeling now,” Burke told The Sunday Gleaner. “I was doing pretty well and then everything happened and I had to be back home in Jamaica playing for a while. It was even more frustrating when I watched the team play.”

Despite the frustrations, Burke said playing with Portmore helped him a lot during those uncertain times.

“Knowing that I was on the pitch playing helped me emotionally and took away a bit of the distress. Coach Bibi (Ricardo Gardner), Mr (Horace) Reid and the players did a wonderful job and helped me a great deal,” Burke said.

He is also grateful for his time in Austria, where he thought he ended on a good note although his four-month stint with St Polten did not start well.

Burke completed his physical on Friday and will see out the remainder of his five-day quarantine before joining up with the squad for training next week.

The Union are currently second in the Western Conference behind Toronto FC after 16 matches.

RIGHT FRAME OF MIND

The St Catherine native, who had 15 goals in his first season (2018) and five in seven games in the 2019 season when his visas was suspended, said his main focus is to get back into the right frame of mind, physical condition and then the starting 11 and take it from there.

“I will try to get to where I want to be and where I left off when I was here. That is the first aim, getting myself back in the right frame of mind and condition by approaching training the right way. Then my target is to try and get into the first 11, and once I am in the first 11, I will try to score some goals before the end of the season,” Burke said.

livingston.scott@gleanerjm.com