Could Edson Buddle Be The Biggest Story of 2012?By: Ben | February 23rd, 2012
It would be impossible this early in 2012 to predict the “Story of the Season”, that one piece of news that dominates over all others. We know now that more stadiums in the works, including those in Houston and San Jose, that MLS is poised for huge growth, and that a number of talented American youngsters may make big moves into Europe (*cough* Brek Shea and Juan Agudelo *cough*). But when we’re talking about a season that’s still weeks away, the only certainty is uncertainty, and the only assurance we can have is that many predictions will prove false as time moves on.
Still, Edson Buddle may have a huge impact on the league in 2012, as the American’s return to LA from a year off in Germany could lead to a huge breakout.
It’s easy to overlook Edson Buddle in such a busy offseason- having bounced around from club to club until finally breaking out with the Galaxy, Buddle was poised to be the next big American name. His face donned the front pages of the MLS blogosphere, he began scoring for the national team (with a memorable goal against Australia in a 2010 pre-World Cup friendly), and expectations were high. Germany, though, turned out not to be all that it was cracked up to be, and Buddle found himself markedly unfulfilled, struggling to make his mark on a second division side.
But now he’s back, returning to the same Galaxy jersey where he first proved he was capable of doing more than drifting between clubs. The question stands: will 2012 be Buddle’s best season yet? If so, just how good will it be? Biggest Story of 2012 good? Of course, these are questions whose answers can only come with time. It’s more than possible that he could break a scoring record, and it’s more than possible that he could break a leg at Galaxy’s First Kick (knock on wood). But all the starts seem to be very literally in line; Buddle will find himself by a roster including Landon Donovan, David Beckham, Robbie Keane, De La Garza, and more. That attacking team of Keane and Buddle is enough to give even the most seasoned defenders the chills, as the target man- finisher relationship that they embody is a powerful one. Even with Keane gone over the summer to captain the Irish national side, Buddle, the 8th highest goalscorer in MLS history, should find no lack of finishing ability up front with whomever Bruce Arena sends. Buddle is skilled, fast, and effective, and could easily outmatch the 42 goals in 87 games he notched between 2007 and 2010 in LA.
Agree? Disagree? Is Buddle the real deal, or full of hot air? Sound off below.