Burke shooting for MLS Golden Boot
Having recently signed a new two-year contract extension with Major League Soccer (MLS) club Philadelphia Union, national senior striker Cory Burke has now set his sights on winning this year's Golden Boot in the United States.
Burke, who scored two goals on his return to Union in October of last year after more than a year out due to visa-related issues, told STAR Sports that he is expecting big things from himself in the MLS for the 2021-2022 season.
"The plan is to get things going from early and to ensure that I get myself in shape as quickly as possible," said Burke. "My focus is to go there and do well, because I have a number of things that I am aiming to achieve this season. I want to score more goals and to compete for the top goalscorer in the competition, and so that is my aim going into this season."
He continued: "As a striker, you always want to compete for the top goalscorer spot, but I just have to make sure my body is in tip-top shape, and with the right frame of mind I know that I can do it."
He has 14 goals in 41 appearances, which includes 20 starts over the last three seasons. He has scored 10 goals in 15 starts in 2018, the only full season he was available.
The Union announced last month that they have agreed to a contract extension with Burke through to 2022, with an option for 2023. Burke lost his visa in May 2019 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. He 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.
Burke underscored that like with most football players, his dream is to ply his trade in Europe one day.
"Of course, I do have dreams of playing in Europe and so maybe after the next two seasons, you never know what can happen. But I just need to keep on working hard and to play the perfect football that people expect of me," Burke said. The Reggae Boyz is expected to have a very busy 2021 scheduled, with the Gold Cup and World Cup qualifiers taking centre stage. Burke added that he is looking forward to playing a role in both tournaments.
"I think that once I am doing what I supposed to be doing, then there is no doubt that I will be part of the team for the Gold Cup and World Cup qualifiers," he said. "Even though I am not playing competitively, I am still training hard with Portmore United, running on the beach or going to gym, just to make sure that I am fit and ready at all times."