The LA Galaxy season may be over, but LA Galaxy Insider Adam Serrano will spend the next few weeks offering an evaluation of each member of the squad. VIEW CALENDAR
The LA Galaxy Player Ratings will begin with players who appeared in the least number of games this season starting with goalkeeper Brian Rowe and concluding with Sean Franklin who played in all 34 of the club’s regular season games. There will also be an evaluation of head coach and general manager Bruce Arena and his moves at the conclusion of the list.
We will have two to three evaluations per day and focus on what each player did well, what they need to improve on ahead of next season as well as a select thought from the player on their performance and a rating from myself out of four stars.
APPEARANCES IN ALL OFFICIAL COMPETITIONS: GP: 28 [5 in MLS Cup Playoffs, 4 in CONCACAF Champions League], MIN: 1519, G: 3, A: 1
RESERVE LEAGUE APPEARANCES: GP: 3, MIN: 147, G: 0, A: 0
HIGHLIGHTS: Edson Buddle returned from a year-long spell in Germany to great fanfare, but the moments of glory on the field were few and far between. In a year marred by injury, Buddle scored just three goals, his lowest tally since his rookie season with the Columbus Crew in 2001. Perhaps his finest goal came during LA’s 2-2 draw against the San Jose Earthquakes when he and strike partner Robie Keane seemed to mesh as LA earned a point in a tough road match against the Supporters’ Shield winners.
LOWLIGHTS: Buddle endured a difficult year for the Galaxy in 2012 as each time he appeared to regain his scoring touch, injury or other circumstances would set the forward back. After scoring in LA’s first match of the season, Buddle went on a 10 game scoring drought—the longest of his Galaxy career—before scoring in LA’s 2-1 defeat against the Houston Dynamo on May 26. However, Buddle would suffer a torn meniscus in his right knee that forced him to undergo a knee surgery to repair the damage. The surgery would cause Buddle to miss 15 matches in all competitions before he returned in a late-August CCL match against the Puerto Rico Islanders. The injury and an inability to find the back of the net would plague Buddle for the rest of the season as he scored just once more in 2012, tallying in LA’s 2-2 draw with the San Jose Earthquakes on Oct. 21.
HIS THOUGHTS: “I know my knee hasn’t been as strong as my left just because of the surgery [in June],” Buddle said. “I really don’t notice [my right knee] when I’m running around, but if I do isolated exercises on my right knee; I can definitely notice a difference. It’s not something I want to walk around miserable and make everybody know that my knee isn’t 100 percent, but it’s a good time right now to get it strong so it doesn’t linger…I want to show [the fans] that I can still score. I know once I’m healthy, I should be able to score goals if I just condition myself the right way and just do the little things that I’ve done in my past.” – Buddle upon being traded to Colorado on December 14.
RATING: ONE AND A HALF STARS
Injuries prevented Edson Buddle from the type of joyful homecoming that was expected when he returned to the club in the offseason. However, next season offers the forward a chance to reinvent himself—albeit in a different location. On Dec. 14, Buddle was traded to the Colorado Rapids for allocation money and a first round pick in the upoming Suplemental Draft. If Buddle can get completely healthy then expect him to become a regular contributor for the re-tooling Rapids.
Adam Serrano is the LA Galaxy Insider. Read his blog at LAGalaxy.com/insider and contact him at LAGalaxyInsider@Gmail.com