Editor’s Note: As we inch toward the MLS Cup Playoffs, the LA Galaxy Insider, Adam Serrano, gives his Top 10 LA Galaxy Postseason Moments…
In 2010, just a year after falling to Real Salt Lake in MLS Cup 2009 in Seattle, the LA Galaxy were flying high heading into the postseason as the newly crowned Supporters’ Shield winners.
On a rainy Halloween night, the Galaxy returned to then-known Qwest Field, the site of their MLS Cup defeat a year earlier, to face a pesky Seattle Sounders FC side that had strung together a four month unbeaten run at home. From the outset, the noise at Qwest was deafening as the Sounders attempted to earn their first playoff victory at home, while exacting vengeance on the Galaxy for a 4-0 LA win there earlier in the season.
After a whirlwind start to the match, the crowd of 35,321 was left in stunned silence by a world-class strike from Edson Buddle in the 38th minute. [watch above]
The play started innocently enough as Donovan Ricketts fired a goal kick that was initially headed forward by the Sounders, but defender Omar Gonzalez smashed the ball forward towards a waiting Buddle. A split-second later, Buddle turned past Seattle defender Patrick Ianni, firing a right-footed volley from 35 yards that sailed past Seattle goalkeeper Kasey Keller and into the back of the net.
The goal hushed the vaunted Seattle crowd and left Qwest crowd in silence for much of the remainder of the opening half. Ultimately, Buddle’s goal would stand as the Galaxy marched out of Seattle with a 1-0 series lead in the Western Conference Semifinal.
Buddle would strike again in the second leg at The Home Depot Center, tallying in the 19th minute as the Galaxy advanced 3-1 on aggregate over Seattle. With the victory, the Galaxy seemed primed for a return to the MLS Cup Final for a second year in a row, but LA fell short of their goal, falling in the Western Conference Championship to FC Dallas at The HDC.
The goal against the Sounders served as the perfect embodiment of Buddle’s dream season as the forward scored an impressive 17 goals on the year, just one shy of league leader Chris Wondolowski. Throughout the season, the Galaxy lost just once when he scored a goal, recoding a 13-1-1 record when the striker found the mark.
Buddle’s impressive season did not go unnoticed as he was selected to Bob Bradley’s United States squad for the 2010 World Cup, before joining FC Ingolstadt of the German 2. Bundesliga on a free transfer on the end of the season.
After a year absence, Buddle has since returned to the Galaxy and will likely be asked to relive his postseason heroics.