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Buddle, Keane look to mesh immediately ahead of Galaxy’s CCL clash with TFC

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TORONTO — In Robbie Keane and Edson Buddle, the Los Angeles Galaxy may have the most talented, productive and explosive forward tandem in MLS history. 

Both experienced forwards bring a goal-scoring pedigree to the Galaxy. Both seemingly complement one another as Keane's speed seems to provide the perfect balance to Buddle's brawn. The only thing missing from the pair? Time to gel.

Keane, who had been away from the club since the start of the year on loan to English side Aston Villa, re-joined the club on Friday after a two-month loan with the Premier League club. By the time the Galaxy take on Toronto FC on Wednesday in their first leg CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal matchup, Keane and Buddle will have had time for just three training sessions together.

Now, with the club's passage into the semifinal round hanging in the balance, the two strikers will have to formulate an effective partnership immediately. 

"It has to doesn't it?" Keane told reporters on Sunday before the team departed for Canada. "When you get thrown in straight away sometimes that's even better. When you get too much preparation and too much work sometimes you over-confuse situations."

The chance to play with Keane was admittedly a boost for Buddle as he was contemplating a return to MLS and the Galaxy after a being let go by second-tier German side FC Ignolstadt 04. When Buddle completed his return to the Galaxy in mid-January, the charamistic forward was all-smiles when asked about playing with an accomplished forward like Keane. 

After two training stints alongside the Irishman, Buddle — who scored 17 goals for the Galaxy in 2010 and missed out on the league's Golden Boot when Chris Wondolowski won it on the final day of the season — feels that the pair can accomplish something special. 

"Robbie has the same confidence as David [Beckham] with the experience that he has. I'm sure that he likes to play the ball on the ground and collectively he'll link up with players," said Buddle, who attended a Los Angeles Lakers game with Keane and other Galaxy teammates on Sunday. "I'm looking forward to doing that because that's kind of my game. I like to link-up with players and tryto get behind the defense." 

As Buddle returned to the Galaxy, Keane was half a world away on loan with Aston Villa, but he kept tabs on every move that the club made during the offseason. While in Birmingham, Keane was kept abreast with the latest Galaxy news through conversations with head coach Bruce Arena and midfielder David Beckham, who gave Buddle a glowing recommendation. 

"I've only trained with him for a couple of days, but I've heard some good things about him," said Keane. "He obviously can score goals, has done that in the past, so I look forward to hopefully getting a good partnership."

The lack of preparation time will not be the only thing that the pair will need to deal with on Wednesday. They will be responsible with generating offense on the harsh field turf surface of the Rogers Centre in front of more than 40,000 fans.  

Regardless of the situation, the ever-confident Buddle, who briefly played for Toronto FC in 2007, believes that the pair can get on the same page and have success right out of the gate.

"[Keane is] easy to get along with," said Buddle." Soccer is an easy language to understand."


  1. This will be no cake-walk. Toronto has spent all season together. LA has not trained with Keane and Donovan. LA gets a break with De Guzman and Soolsma out of this one though.

  2. no koevermans either…or frings…or ryan johnson or reggie lambe or miguel aceval or luis silva…ashtone morgan and matt stinson weren’t playing then either

  3. I’m definitely looking forward to the Buddle-Keane tandem, which I have to agree is looking like one of the best forward pairings the MLS has ever seen. Throw in Buddle for Cristman in that MLS Cup final and I can pretty much guarentee you that Edson finishes the chances that Cristman didn’t.

  4. Different times with weaker squads…

    Also a lot more teams now too but that was a great tandem, not sure how much but to me Buddle has surpassed Diaz Arce and Keane could give a run to be as good as Moreno was in terms of comparing the 2 tandems?

  5. yeah but some of that was just pure lack of concentration in the dying minutes, as for the tie in Toronto we have a much deeper attack now with Keane instead of a misfiring Angel and Buddle with Barett and Noonan backing them up not to mention Sarvas and Cardozo who I hear might up for big things this year

  6. Yeah but also look at how Toronto was in the standings the last 2 months and how they leaped over FC Dallas for the 2nd spot, they did a lot better than the 1st 5 months of the season..

    Plus they picked up some decent pieces their 1st round draft pick has been on a tear in preseason and with Ryan Johnson, Torsten Frings, Danny Kovermans and Joao Plata they have some weapons not to mention a some what optimistic De Guzman, we are missing our Defensive General so LA better tread carefully and put away it’s chances early in Toronto!

  7. I predict 2-2 draw with the Galaxy lucky to escape not conceding more in their first competitive (regular season) game without Omar.

  8. LA is a way better team. But LA has a different D from last year due to injuries. A different front line from last year, as noted.

    And LD and Keane have barely played with the team this year.

    I don’t really care who the Sounders beat next round. Either way it will be a lot of fun.

    Enough off-season, let’s goooooo !

  9. I don’t disagree that a Keane/Buddle strike force will be leathal this year. But, they’ll have to do a lot of damage to be considered the greatest in MLS history. The Raul Diaz-Arce/Jamie Moreno duo of the 90s was really something special to see, and MLS has not seen anything like it since then.

  10. “over confused”? How does one over confuse something…well, they’re not payin him to think that’s for sure.

  11. I bleed blue, white and gold (it’s a genetic disorder), but you’re right. LA lost to TFC at home last season, and that was before Koevermans and Frings came on board. I certainly anticipate LA to win on agg, but playing an improved TFC in front of 40,000 at Rogers Center will be a challenge to put it mildly.

  12. I like the advance pub and eagerness for a CCL contest but the bubble deflated a bit when I noticed the TFC opposition. I fully expect LA to tie or win in Toronto whether they are clicking on all cylinders or not (then go to LA and whoop them silly). Standings don’t lie and LA has a better team that emerged from a rougher postseason and CCL group experience.


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