Buddle returns to Galaxy after a year in Germany
Edson Buddle returned to the Los Angeles Galaxy on Wednesday after a year in the German second division, adding yet another scoring talent to the defending MLS champions' star-studded roster.
The 30-year-old American forward re-signed with the Galaxy one day after his contract was terminated by Ingolstadt.
A member of the 2010 World Cup team, Buddle rejoins the Galaxy after scoring 17 goals in 2010 and adding two more in the postseason. Buddle scored 42 goals in 87 games for Los Angeles from 2007-10.
Los Angeles already has fellow striker Robbie Keane and midfielders David Beckham and Landon Donovan. Buddle's return gives the Galaxy one of the most impressive collections of scoring talent in MLS history as they prepare to defend their title.
"I am thrilled to be able to return to MLS and a club that has meant so much to me in my career,'' Buddle said. "When I left for Germany last winter, I said that I hoped to be able to one day return to the Galaxy and help lead the club to an MLS Cup championship. That day is today, and I look forward to the challenges that now lie ahead.''
Buddle turned down a raise from the Galaxy in January 2011 for a more lucrative deal with Ingolstadt, surprising many soccer observers and disappointing Los Angeles fans who had adopted him as a favorite. He scored 10 goals during his tenure with Ingolstadt, but was released with six months left on his contract with the struggling German club.
Buddle had trials at Everton, where Donovan is on loan, and West Ham in recent weeks.
"He has been an outstanding player for us in the past, and we look forward to him continuing that success for many years to come,'' said Bruce Arena, the Galaxy's general manager and head coach.
The Galaxy didn't disclose Buddle's contract terms, but he won't be a designated player who can be paid above the MLS salary cap because Los Angeles already has filled its allotment. Forward Chad Garrett likely will be pushed to the Galaxy's bench with Buddle's arrival, but Keane is expected to miss several MLS games this summer as captain of the Irish national team.
Buddle is the eighth-leading goal-scorer in MLS history with 90, and the only player in league history to score 40 goals with two clubs. He spent his first five MLS seasons with Columbus before brief stints with New York and Toronto.
He also has scored three goals in 10 appearances with the U.S. national team, including a dramatic strike against Slovenia in November.
Los Angeles opens the MLS regular season March 10 at home against Real Salt Lake.