Burgess helping Whitecaps' playoff push - Bermuda Sun


Bermuda winger Tyrell Burgess is headed for the play-offs in his first season as a pro with the Vancouver Whitecaps.

Burgess, who started the season on the bench, has played an increasingly influential role as the season has progressed.

Now the young North Village graduate, who scored his first goal for the Whitecaps - a blockbusting strike that featured on ESPN's play-of-the-day last month, hopes to keep the winning momentum going and help his side secure the USL 1 title.

"Currently we are in good position to secure a playoff spot but we do still have more league games to play and it is important we finish the season as high as we can and go into playoffs with the right focus to win each game," he said.

Burgess who was snapped up by the Whitecaps earlier this year said it had been tough adjusting to the higher level.

But he is pleased with the progress he has made and hopes to establish himself as a permanent fixture in the first XI by the time the Whitecaps move up to the MLS in 2011.

He said: "When I first got in I wasn't required to start, more to develop. I got my chance to start through an injury to one of our experienced players.

Learning as a rookie

"I did well and showed my worth as a rookie and now I can be depended on if asked to do a job. I am pleased when the coach can call me to come off the bench but I am much happier when I start."

The highlight of Burgess brief career was that wonder goal against Rochester Rhinos last month.

The goal - a long-distance strike, which dipped and swerved into the net even received kudos from David Beckham on ESPN's highlights show.

Burgess remembers it like this: "I took a touch with my left foot back across my body and hit the shot with my right foot, it came off clean and hit the back of the net. The rest was just excitement."

The Whitecaps currently occupy the seventh and final play-off spot in USL 1, seven points clear of their nearest rivals. They face Austin Aztex tonight as they look to end a sequence of drawn games.

"We only have a few more games then playoffs so building a good momentum will be key."

He added that he felt the example of Seattle Sounders in the MLS this year showed that good USL 1 team could compete at the top level in the US.

"Vancouver will be a MLS team in 2011 so in two years I hope to be a part of the team just like every member on the squad. I just have to keep working hard and see when that time comes.

"Vancouver is a top level USL 1 organization, it is definitely ready for the jump up to the MLS."