Sunday, January 25, 2015

LA Galaxy welcome back familiar face Edson Buddle for preseason training stint

Dealing with personnel changes is a major part of any preseason training camp and it was no different for the defending MLS Cup champion LA Galaxy when they took the field for the first time on Friday.
Dealing with personnel changes is a major part of any preseason training camp and it was no different...

Gone are familiar faces like MLS scoring king Landon Donovan (retirement) and tenacious midfielder Marcelo Sarvas (trade to Colorado Rapids) leaving the club to search for replacements ahead of the 2015 season. But even though both players were major contributors a year ago, the Galaxy are confident that they won’t miss a beat heading in their quest to repeat as MLS Cup champions.

“I’m sure that we’ll see later in the preseason if we’ll really miss them,” said defender A.J. DeLaGarza. “They were two of the best players in the entire league last season, so we’ll sure miss them but we have guys who can step up who came off the bench [in 2014] and did well.

“Then we have [Steven] Gerrard coming in midway through the season who is pretty good himself. Hopefully there isn’t too much of a drop off and we can do better than we did last year.”

Amid all departures, there was one familiar face present on Friday who may be making his return to StubHub Center. Forward Edson Buddle who spent four years with the club from 2007-2010 and then again in 2012 was among five non-draftees joining the club in preseason looking to earn a contract.

After departing the Galaxy following the 2012 season, Buddle spent two difficult years with the Colorado Rapids where he made just 42 appearances, scoring seven goals and four assists. Although his numbers in Colorado were a far cry from his mercurial 2010 season that saw him score 17 goals en route to a place on the U.S. World Cup squad, LA believe that they can fit Buddle into their squad.

“We know Edson,” Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena said. “He’s a good player and he’s a player that we hope that we can fit into our team”

Added Todd Dunivant, “It was a pleasant surprise [to see him here]. He’d be a great pick up if he works out and he’s obviously motivated. I’ve been Edson’s teammate now for years and know what he can bring.”

Even though Buddle went through some struggles in Colorado, his longtime teammate A.J. DeLaGarza is confident that he could find his scoring touch once more with the Galaxy.

“He’s another goal scorer in this league who is proven and I’m sure that there’s no other place that he’d rather be than here. I’m sure that he’s going to come out here and give it everything he has,” said DeLaGarza. “For a big man, he’s got good feet, he’s strong and can hold up the ball, but he’s also got pace. But he’s a goal scorer and is someone that can give us quality minutes.”