Michael Thomas Burns (born September 14, 1970 in Marlborough, Massachusetts) is a retired American soccer player. During his playing career, he played for Danish club Viborg FF, three MLS teams, as well as the United States national team.
Burns is currently the General Manager for the New England Revolution of Major League Soccer.
Burns was born and raised in Marlborough, Massachusetts. At age six, he began playing soccer in local recreation leagues, but never joined a club team. When he reached high school, he played for Marlborough High School boys' team and was named the 1987 Massachusetts High School Player of the Year.
After completing high school, he attended Hartwick College from 1988 to 1991. When he graduated from Hartwick, there were few opportunities for playing soccer professionally in the United States, but Burns continued to play with the U.S. Olympic team as it prepared for the 1992 Summer Olympics. He previously played in the 1987 U16 FIFA World Cup and in the 1989 U-20 FIFA World Cup. The 1989 squad took fourth place in the tournament.
In 1995, the MLS began an expansion plan to add new teams to the league. In the 1996 MLS Inaugural Allocations, the MLS assigned Burns to the New England Revolution. In August 1995, the MLS loaned out Burns to Danish club Viborg FF. The Revolution retained his rights and Burns returned to play for the Revolution in 1996. In 1998, Burns earned a place in the MLS All-Star game. In the 1999 off-season, he made several attempts to move back to a European club, trying out with clubs such as Utrecht, Bolton and Hearts. None of the clubs expressed interest in him and Burns returned to the Revolution. In June 2000, the Revolution traded Burns, Dan Calichman and a first round draft pick to the San Jose Earthquakes in exchange for Mauricio Wright. Burns finished the 2000 season with the Earthquakes. However, he did not remain with the team and he was traded in March 2001 to the Kansas City Wizards in return for conditional picks in the 2002 MLS SuperDraft. Burns played two seasons with the Wizards, 2001 and 2002. In 2002, he was chosen to play in the 2002 MLS All-Star Game. At the end of the 2002 season, Burns announced his retirement from professional football.
On April 10, 2005, Burns was named as the New England Revolution's Director of Soccer. He held this position until 2008, when he was promoted to Vice President of Player Personnel. On November 9, 2011, he was promoted to the General Manager position.
Burns competed in a major tournament on every level: in the U-17 World Championship in 1987, the World Youth Championship in 1989, the Olympic Games in 1992, and the FIFA World Cup, where he was a non-playing squad member in 1994 and then played in 1998.