TORRANCE, Calif. -- Edson Buddle may no longer be a member of the LA Galaxy, but the veteran forward will be calling The Home Depot Center home for the next two weeks as he participates in a camp with the U.S. national team.
Buddle was among 25 players -- including former teammates A.J. DeLaGarza and Omar Gonzalez -- called up by U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann for the annual camp, which culminates in a match against Canada on Jan. 29 at BBVA Compass Stadium. The 31-year-old forward endured a whirlwind 2012, which saw him miss 15 matches across all competitions after undergoing knee surgery in May. After scoring three goals in 28 appearances across all competitions in 2012, Buddle was dealt to the Colorado Rapids for allocation money and a 2013 supplemental draft selection on Dec. 14.
As Buddle looks ahead to his new career with the Rapids, he spoke to reporters earlier in the week on time with the U.S. national team, his trade from the Galaxy, and his future in Colorado.
Buddle's thoughts are below...
(On getting the U.S. call up…)
BUDDLE: “It’s kind of random that I got the call, but that’s how it is in soccer and with the national team. I was just trying to be as professional as I can in the offseason in case I do get a call like this. Jurgen has worked with me and I’ve worked with Jurgen, and it’s always a privilege for me…I wasn’t expecting it. I had planned for my offseason with rehab and seeing where my knee was so I can get ready to go to Colorado.”
(On how healthy he is and his plan to return to full fitness…)
BUDDLE: “I can do everything, it’s just when I isolate things with my knee, I can tell the difference and that it’s not as strong as my left…while I’m here, I’m trying to get as close to as hundred percent as possible.”
(On whether he has something to prove…)
BUDDLE: “Every time that I step onto the field, I have feel like I have something to prove. I don’t feel like anything that I did in the past can help me going forward except for just my experience and how I prepare myself. That’s what I do each and every day, I don’t go out with the attitude that I’m owed anything for anything that I’ve done in the past.”
(On the preparations for the camp…)
BUDDLE: “Jurgen has told us that this is not a fitness camp; guys should be ready to play in this camp and preform. I’m sure that we’re going to do some fitness but it is part of the preparations because we have a game to play.”
(On whether 2013 is an important year for him…)
“Each year is a big year for me because I have individual goals and this year, with a new team it’s going to be challenging to get to know new faces and to get everyone on the same page. Individually, [I want] to just get fit and take my team as far as I can go with goal scoring and getting back on track.”
(On whether he was surprised that the trade came on Dec. 14…)
BUDDLE: “Yeah, I was surprised, but I never thought that it couldn’t happen. This is a business and coming into [the Galaxy] I knew that there were salary issues and coming in, I thought I would play every day, but with injuries things happen. It wasn’t a sense of Bruce [Arena] in the locker room not wanting me around. He still played me in the final so it still came as a surprise.”
(On how long it took him to accept the trade…)
BUDDLE: “It didn’t take me a few days, it took me a couple minutes because at first, you get a little anxiety, but it isn’t the worse thing in the world. When I was traded, the shooting in Newton happened and I realized that life isn’t that bad and the trade isn’t that bad because it’s good to be employed.”
(On whether he’s spoken to Colorado Rapids Oscar Pareja…)
BUDDLE: “With the two forwards [Conor Casey and Omar Cummings] gone, I’m kind of curious to see who they’re going to bring in. I was expecting Cummings to be there and now he’s gone so they told me that they’re looking for me to be that person up top to score goals. Hopefully I can provide that and deliver when needed, but they’ve been very welcoming and I expected that coming into a new club. I don’t want to promise anything though; I know that I have to work for everything that I get.”
(On playing at altitude…)
BUDDLE: “Hopefully it can add to my fitness especially this late in my career. Hopefully I can take advantage of that while I’m there.”