Galaxy expect big things out of Buddle

A few loose teeth won't stop Buddle from making an impact in 2010

buddle_tooth

Photo Credit: 
Victor Decolongon

Edson Buddle proved that, for three points, he would fight tooth and
nail for a win, with an emphasis on the “tooth” part.

Buddle
scored the game-winner in the Galaxy’s 1-0 triumph over New England. (CLICK
HERE FOR THE HIGHLIGHTS.)
Midway through the second half, Buddle
met up with Pat Phelan’s elbow. The Revolution player knocked Buddle
down and nearly knocked out some of his teeth.

Such things come
with the territory.

“You’ve gotta do what you’ve gotta do to
win, you know?” Buddle said after the match.

After missing time
in 2009 with an array of injuries, Buddle entered the 2010 season fully
fit. The physical setbacks last season contributed to a drop in form
and scoring, as Buddle went from 15 goals in 2008 to five in 2009.

Six
minutes into the 2010 season, Buddle knocked in a header off a set
piece and notched goal number one. It’s that kind of production that
gives the team hope the old Buddle will resurface.

“That was a
pretty good performance over 90 minutes. He battled pretty hard
(Saturday) and had some pretty good moments, did a good job holding the
ball up,” Galaxy coach Bruce Arena said. “This could be a good year
for him. Hopefully he stays healthy.”

Quadriceps and toe injuries
kept Buddle off the field for a good chunk of last season. And while
loose teeth might knock some players out, team officials said Buddle
will be available for Thursday’s game against Chivas USA.

Tooth
issues are nothing new to Buddle, at least not this year. Just two
weeks before the season started Buddle had braces removed. New
England’s Phelan sent Buddle back to the dentist to get a splint placed
on his teeth to help stabilize them.

The stability that Buddle
had really been seeking was the knowledge that he was in the Galaxy’s
long-term plans.

“Being settled with Bruce giving me a little
confidence and saying that I’m going to be here,” Buddle said. "It
really helps a forward."

And with players like Landon Donovan,
Eddie Lewis and Juninho providing service this season, staying in the
lineup will be enough for him to get his share of scoring chances.

“Staying
healthy is one of the things I want to do to maintain and score
goals,” Buddle said. “Once I’m on the field I’m able to get
opportunities and then it’s up to me to put away my chances.”