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Expectations high as Buddle returns to LA


Photo by Michael Janosz/


CARSON, Calif.With Landon Donovan, David Beckham and Robbie Keane, the Los Angeles Galaxy boasted one of the strongest rosters in MLS.

Now with the addition of Edson Buddle, the Galaxy's attack may be the finest in league history. 

Buddle returns to the Galaxy after leaving the club at the outset of the 2011 season to join 2. Bundesliga side FC Ingolstadt 04. During his three and a half year stint with the Galaxy, Buddle amassed  44 goals in 82 games during three and a half seasons with the club.  

Excitement over Buddle's return has reached a fever pitch with Galaxy fans intending to meet the forward when he arrives in Los Angeles International Airport on Friday evening. 

“It's nice to have Edson back,” said head coach Bruce Arena, who also confirmed Buddle would return to training Monday. “He's going to be a good addition to our team…We've been in contact with Edson's representative for a while, and we've always made him aware of the fact that if the opportunity presented itself where he could come back, we'd sure like to get him back.”

Buddle returns to the Home Depot Center after a tumultuous few weeks after being dismissed from Ingolstadt Following his departure from Germany, Buddle trained with West Ham and before going on trial with Everton and Belgian side KVC Westerlo. Instead of staying in Europe, Buddle decided to return to the Galaxy, who had retained the forward's rights after he departed for Germany.

Following the high profile departures of Juninho, Donovan Ricketts and Gregg Berhalter, the Galaxy were able to fit Buddle into a squad that already boasts three designated player salaries. The 30-year-old U.S. international will now be tasked with forming a partnership with Robbie Keane, who is currently away with English club Aston Villa. With Keane away till March, Buddle will need to hit the ground running when his Irish strike partner returns.

“Hopefully, it’s going to be good,” said Arena. “There’s going to be a lot of work in there, and he’s not going to have much time to work with Robbie.”

Buddle was not the only addition the Galaxy made on Wednesday with the club acquiring midfielder Kyle Nakazawa and a second round draft choice from the Philadelphia Union in exchange for an international roster slot. A Southern California native, Nakazawa arrives in Los Angeles after two productive seasons with the Union making 36 league appearances and starting 22 games.

Looking to add midfield depth after Juninho's departure in the offseason, Nakazawa joins Beckham, Michael Stephens, Dan Keat and recent acquisition Marcelo Sarvas in the center of the park.

“I think he's a good young player,” said Arena. “I've followed him closely for years, obviously at UCLA and with Philadelphia. He's a player we've always wanted to have here at the Galaxy, and I think it's great to have one of our local players come back as well.”

With two new additions in tow, the defending MLS Cup Champions boast a roster that may be considered one of the finest in league history. However, the Galaxy put no stock on how good their squad looks on paper, choosing to prove themselves on the field instead.

“Paper's not worth anything. I'll be glad to tell you that. It doesn't mean a damn thing,” said Arena. “[The Galaxy's roster] has the makings of being a good team, but we've got to get it done on the field, and we have a lot of work ahead of us.”


  1. I have the bad fortune to live in one of the markets (Houston) which does not do so well attracting big names. Obviously, I don’t have too much to complain about since my team has 2 championships, a recent final appearance, and multiple trips to the playoffs otherwise.

    That said, the league needs to establish financial stability before the “single-entity” model is abandoned and parity isn’t the emphasis. I agree this should be a long term goal, but LA and NY fans cannot support the entire league. That’s just not possible.

    Also, European teams aren’t all about attracting players by location. You really think Manchester, England is a more attractive location to live than all of the places the current roster of Man City came from?

    If anything, adding an additional DP slot exclusively for an American (or Canadian for the 3 teams up north) DP should be the next step. That way, smaller market teams are more likely to land a solid player. LA could then add a 4th big name (as could Toronto).

  2. Yes, but it is not like Boyens would just be just filling in for a couple of regular season games. I wouldn’t mind that. Omar is out the whole year and Leonardo is coming off of a horrific injury. He may not ever be the same player. The next game is a huge one against TFC.

  3. I say WTF about Backe and Soler all the time about a lot of things. But they have far more hits than misses when bringing in players from Europe. They are also bringing in another D-Mid Victor Pallson and with a vacant DP spot here’s to hoping for that #10 in the summer window. RBNY will have more Depth this year it seems. So likely more subs, late last season I did start to look at our roster and wonder who he would put in and would make an impact.

    I think De Ro has that disorder where he has to be the best player on the team in order to perform well. There are a lot of players in the EPL with this disorder I speak of. The trade was more boneheaded because in the end we lost Tchani, Borman, Da Luz and De Ro for Dax McCarty. **groan**

    I think Columbus will be better than expected, but even then we should have beat them twice last year. At the beginning of last year Backe tried play attacking, possession based soccer. Just to have teams put 9 guys behind the ball and look for a counter. I hope Backe has an answer for that this since he didn’t last year.

  4. Bundesliga is one of the best leagues, their 2nd division is not exactly a bad level, I’d say for the most part is better than MLS, maybe not by much after the 1st 5 or 6 teams but again, it’s their 2nd level.

    He did get a contract offer in Belgium, but maybe he felt he had gotten enough money out of his last ditch move to tray European club ball, and now he may want to stay relevant with Klinsmann in charge of the USMNT, maybe now that he doesn’t have his spot starting for Ingolstadt, which JK held to some degree highly enough to play him more than RoboBob, he needs to be playing and scoring. Confidence is everything for our hurting forwards corps.

    He could help win CCL, make history and compete in a great level. Also the Galaxy might of offered him a bit more money than last time with all the space they had from people retiring and moving on

  5. Well Galaxy are 1 of a very few elite MLS teams that could compete and succeed against most if not all 2nd divisions in Europe and probably be competitive in most European top flight leagues. I think aside from La Liga, EPL, Bundesliga they would do great in most…

    But that’s 1 team, and not many others are as good, we need the whole league to get better and up to par

  6. Cheers!

    Backe better start using his subs, I found myself going “WHAT THA F***” too many times last year, he had a good enough team even with a shaky keeper situation and an under performing Marquez, they really screwed up with DeRo, and for what? To sing a DP keeper? I honestly think they go thru that horrible July/August drought that started actually around June when they lost everyone in Gold Cup play if DeRo was there, as Henry and Richards would of had someone to feed them, even Lindpere would have scored some more, and how knows I think DeRo didn’t click yet but could have

    In any case, sounds good if they picked up both Conde AND this Sweedish product, I was mentioning the 3 forward set up as a flexibility thing or sub in the 60th-70th minute mark or when down in 2nd half. I think they can get stronger at CB if they move Marquez back still, and with the great wing play of Dane & Joel, they can do it with Teemu, Henry, Rodgers, Agudelo/Cooper

    They better blow away teams like Columbus, or San Jose and even Vancouver not like last year and maybe Montreal, jury still out on the Impact

  7. Saunders played about half a season and he stepped in for Ricketts all 3 years, and he did the same thing all the time. Get shutouts and keep that same level of great top notch goalkeeping. Sarvas is from Alajuelense, one of Costa Rica’s best teams. They spotted him in CCL play against LA actually.

    They need a CB, but probably won’t go out and spend too much since it will be mainly for CCL they should be okay for MLS until Leonardo gets healthy and in form and then eventually when Omar comes back!

  8. They have Robinson, I think we might see Bruce play with 3 defenders and 2 holding mids. Sarvas AND Stephens.

    Sort of like a 3-5-2 or to be more specific, a 3-2-3-2….

  9. I think Sarvas will be a spark also…He is going to create some nice chances for Buddle and co. He can shoot with accuracy with both feet. I think he can be even better than Juninho was for LA.

  10. Alright, There was not the the tone in my previous comments as I now see could have been interpreted.

    I’m glad Ream went to the EPL. But I would have liked to see him fix some of his issues here before hand. Fans there are less forgiving.

    Few RBNY fans would defend last years defense for RBNY. The stats speak for themselves. You forgot about Holgerson, 26 6’3″ Swedish International(Conde got more press). He just came off a monster season anchoring a league winning defense.

    I don’t see RBNY consistently playing three forwards. I think Backe wanted another option with Agudelo going to the Olympics(and who knows where else during the next window)and with Rodgers and Henry getting Banged up a lot.

    With other D-mids coming right now they could just sit Marquez and RB Corp wouldn’t care and ESC won’t rip there seats out and trow them on the pitch if Marquez brings the suck again.

    Funny you mention ’09. Since it was the RBNY ’09 Andrew Boyens I was belly-acheing over in my previous comments.

    I’ll be rooting for you guys in CCL! Make us ALL proud!

  11. They better reinforce the CB position if they want to keep up with the attack of the Mexican teams. Toronto’s 4-3-3 will give them all they can handle also. Their offense was clicking at the end of last MLS season. If they have to face a potent Seattle attack, Andrew Boyens may be overwhelmed.

  12. I’m not sure Boyens is the answer. He couldn’t start for a Chivas team that was young in defense. If he goes down, LA is forced to play a rookie alongside AJ DLG. LA will be without Ricketts for a whole season and Juninho was better in defense than people think.

    I’m surprised Arena hasn’t gone after an experienced veteran. There was talk of Beckham’s friend Alex Bruce from Leeds United, but nothing has materialized.

  13. It’s kind of hard to argue he was a complete flop when he was the team’s leading goal scorer and he had a team in Belgium that offered him a contract before he turned it down to come back to MLS. Did he take the continent by storm? No. Did he show he was capable of competing there? Yes.

  14. I agree that Boyens is likely capable of holding down the fort, but Robinson retired so he is of no help. Until Leonardo is ready to go, the back-up at CB (outside of shifting Franklin over) is the first round draft pick from IU – Meyer.

  15. I am the only looking at the wrong side of this situation, Buddle is coming back, so that means a) he didn´t succed in Europe and b) one more of our strikers is not good enough for the big show.

    So, what´s to celebrate?…

    And I don´t want to burst anyone´s bubble but, let´s be honest here.

  16. I saw him at the beginning of last year, he’s not as bad as you make him out to be, of course there’s a huge drop from Omar, that’s because he was among the best 2 Center Backs in all of MLS and last year was the best defender of the league.

    Like I said they have Robinson. You can keep dreaming that this team has no defense, but with a great midfield capable of keeping possession and two forwards that can not only do the same, but command attention, the Galaxy will be more than fine. Again Leonardo will be back, I’m being realistic and very safe in saying Boyens and Robinson have to weather the storm for a month, for all we know Leonardo could come back sooner.

    If anyone has some questions in defense is your Red Bulls. Marquez even if he performs most likely will be in midfield since there’s no attacking center mid to play in front of Tainio, and there’s no more Ream, even tho he was horrible for most of last year, so if Conde does come back to his levels of 09, then great, upgrade if you ask me, but Keel or whomever won’t cut it, I see Marquez moving back and NY maybe playing with 3 Fowards in Henry, Rodgers & Agudelo/Cooper. But lets see how your defense does, ours was the best in MLS, what did you guys do again?

  17. And they could put as many as 4 teams in the UCL. The Bundesliga is also recording record profits at a time that UEFA has claimed 6 billion in losses.

  18. They have a rule in place that no clubs can be in debt, similar to UEFA’s financial fair play rule, so clubs can’t have huge transfer fees and whatnot without having huge revenues to offset them. This system is preferable to the alternative in Europe, but still isn’t perfect(Bayern’s dominance relative to any one club not ‘the field’, etc.) In addition, fan support is rabid throughout Germany which is a pretty big country with a lot of big cities to begin with, meaning teams in smaller cities can still have a pretty large revenue stream.

  19. Serious question (that is, not a pointed question): Why does the Bundesliga have so much more parity than La Liga, EPL or Serie A? Do they have some kind of revenue sharing or salary cap or do they just benefit from Germany having lots of similarly sized cities? Anything that MLS can copy from the Bundesliga?

  20. Right, because ‘maybe smaller markets should just step up’ has worked so well in Europe…you can also raise the salary cap…my point is that a soft salary cap gives cities like LA and NY the chance to maximize their advantages without creating what we like to call the Barcelona/Real Madrid effect. Yes, watching Real Madrid win 5-1 game after game is not a good thing for the sport, yes the NFL is better in almost every organizational way conceivable.

  21. Pretty much spot on, especially with Fabian, but I’m not sure if this applies to all of they guys’ who have a salary of less than 335K, since guys like Castillo who are young or Portland’s Valencia etc etc count less under the new Young DP rules, if a player is signed as a DP and is under 23 or 24 he only counts about 25K and if he’s under 19 or 20 it’s like 175K, great if you ask me…

  22. Probably not, is not like it’s a far fetched notion or theory, Germany has the most competitve league top to bottom, hell currently they have 3 teams tied for 1st and a 4th within 2 points of the top 3 teams.

  23. Umm only 1 player is missing and he will be back granted for the last month of the season and in time for the playoffs, but Leonardo should be 100% by the time the season gets going and about a month after that he should be in form, he did great before getting injured, plus they have Boyens & Robinson to offer cover in the mean time, and they could still sign another international CB, more important is that teams will have to watch for BOTH Keane and Buddle, not being able to attack as much.

    RSL is the hardest test, 1st game of the year if I’m not mistaken, after that it should be very manageable!

  24. It’s true, some cities have been blessed with qualities that give them advantages in attracting players and an economy that helps them pay for them

    By the same token, some players are born with speed or touch above and beyond the norm that gives them a distinctive advantage on the field. Should gifted players be crippled in order for others to catch up?

    Maybe…. teams in smaller markets should take their cue from the game itself. Many players born with lesser physical gifts still manage to be great. They don’t snivel about being disadvantaged but make up the difference with hard work, playing smarter…. creativity. If you restrain the growth of the top teams… lower the bar for them…. you lower the bar for the whole league.FACT: If the ceiling for MLS is maxed out at what players Columbus can attract… it will never be world class.

  25. Also-could somebody explain why so many DP’s have a salary under the 335k DP price tag? Is it just because they used it to pay for their respective transfer fees?

    Wikipedia says Fabian Castillo, Diego Chara and Alvaro Saborio all make below that amount.

  26. Beyond incremental increases in the salary cap, I think MLS should keep the DP # where it stands now for at least the near-future. Only 4 teams(Toronto, LAG, Portland, and presumably soon-to-be RBNY) out of 19 have 3 DP’s, only 3 more have at least 2, and 4 have 1. The way the soft salary cap works now, it allows MLS to exploit its most popular destinations(NY and LA) and for teams who care to be rewarded for spending money without really compromising parity or small-market team’s ability to compete.

  27. Hopefully you will bring home a CONCACAF Champions League trophy. I’d love to see an MLS team take that finally (Yes I know some MLS teams won back in the day, but not in the new format.)


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