Bookending: Buddle Golazography


A little delayed here…TSG practices another motto beyond the multiple obervation.

“Zig when others zag.”

So we avoided the Buddle deluge a few weeks ago, but guest poster B-Mac wanted to make certain we served up a plate of Buddle scores, even if it was cold. Since we did it for Herulez Gomez and even Eddie Johnson a few days ago.

So B-Mac…go:

Smokin’ Buddle

Edson Buddle; on fire. Galaxy fans could not have imagined a better start for Buddle than 7 goals in his first 4 games. Buddle has been impressive this year, but not all goals are created equal. So let’s evaluate the impressiveness of his goals, accounting for skill and finishing. I will use a scale of 1-10 for impressiveness, with a 1 equal to getting the tally for a deflection off your ass and a 10 being this wonder-strike from Maicon Friday.

» Nothing spectacular, but strong finishing to head the ball to the top-left corner where no keeper could ever save it. He loses some points by being left wide-open by some horrendous New England marking on the set-play, but solid nonetheless

Score: 5

2.  Not that sexy of a goal, but sneakily difficult.

» Buddle timed his run excellently to stay onside, and then had the vision to read the ball perfectly. Anyone who’s ever played striker can tell you how difficult it is to head in a goal played in from behind while sprinting in, especially from 12 yards out. That’s a veteran goal from Buddle on that service.

Score: 7

3. Wide open, you expect Buddle to put it in. I’ve seen better men miss easier chances and he did hustle to get in the play, so I give him a bit of a bonus.

Score: 2

Tough call on this one. Buddle does a good job to settle the ball down and puts the ball in the best possible place, but that is some poor goaltending by Pat Onstad on that goal. Then again, who’s to say whichever bum the English throw in goal would do better than ol’ Pat.

Score: 4

This goal is one of the prettier ones, but maybe I’m just a sucker for a diving chip. It was a goalie-less net, but I have seen many, many easier chips get booted up into the seats. Nice finishing with a dash of class.

Score: 5

Big fan of this goal. Buddle showed tremendous timing and strength to blast this corner into the back of the net. He dealt with the traffic in front of him and still had the class to blast it to the side-netting. The goal reminds me of something you might have seen out Alan Shearer, just rising and using that big head to launch it into the back of the net.

Score: 7

Pure class. Fantastic skill by Buddle to pull the ball back to his right with his left foot, and then he finishes with a blast to goal on a half-volley. These are the kinds of goals you see rarely in American soccer, with confident finishing from outside the 18. There is so much to love on this goal, the patience, the vision, the class, the placement, and the power. Simply top-notch.

Score: 9.5


Looking at these goals, you see the confidence, skill, and finishing Edson has right now.

Some people are obsessed with the classic holding forward/pace forward that we saw in South Africa with Davies and Jozy, but I actually think Buddle would be a very good compliment for Jozy. Jozy likes freedom and doesn’t want to be an Emile Heskey-type player. Jozy is much more in the Drogba style, using his strength and speed to win balls and beat markers, not be a statue to receive balls of his head. Buddle’s mix of positional sense, speed, and confidence to either clear space for Jozy or finish balls dished off to him.

When I’m looking for a 3rd striker for the Nats, give me the balanced player who is playing with confidence than the one-dimensional guys out of form. Caps be damned, Buddle should be considered.

9 responses to this post.

  1. Wow. I’m trying to find a argument here… gonna have to sleep on it.


  2. Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/04/30 at 3:51 AM

    I would love it if he made your first XI.


    • You’d prefer Conor Casey, trust me.

      We should all be happy that it’s Buddle lighting up MLS this season and not Mr. Clean. Buddle does at least have the speed and strength to possibly make an impact at the international level. I don’t think he should start, but you’d have to take him over Casey as a substitute in most situations.

      From his interview yesterday it sounds like Bob is intrigued by Gomez as well, especially considering the number of his goals that came as a substitute. I’m sure Bob would love to bring a striker who can come on after 70 minutes when defenders are tired, pounce on a mistake and put it in the net?

      As Bob also said, “the team selects the team” so he’ll have to see if these guys fit in with the squad, and whether Davies seems up to it if he gets his shot in camp.

      As for Casey, we’ll always have Honduras…


  3. Posted by Colin on 2010/04/30 at 6:39 AM

    “Caps be damned”…hopefully he gets one or two at the end of May.

    I wholly agree on the last goal. What was impressive to me was how much power he got on the ball considering he had to come to a stand still and just swing a leg at it….not easy to do with power.

    Sorta disagree with the 4th goal…while one may see it as poor goalkeeping…It was still a tight spot for buddle to sneak it into…with his left foot, on the run, and put enough power on it that it was past Onstad before he could react….I would give it a 6.

    Which sorta brings up another point…of the 7 goals….3 were with his right foot, 3 with his head, and 1 with his left foot…and the keeper only had a chance to save 1 of them….very impressive to me


  4. Scoring goals is great but the key to success at the international level for strikers is so often a players ability to create space. A big strong player like Buddle tends to be able to use his physical gifts to beat MLS level defenders in a way that he wouldn’t be able to against International-level defenders. With the examples here it isn’t always his movement that’s creating space rather than poor decision-making by the defenders. He looks promising and deserves a shot but I’m not getting too excited until we see what he can offer vs. Czech Rep. and Turkey in a few weeks.

    However, these friendlies cannot be used to audition players in the same way that earlier ones were. We should see the team Bob expects to start vs. England get 60 minutes together before Buddle, Gomez and other players on the bubble get a shot in the role they’d expect to play during the Big Cup. I think a lot of these decisions will be made outside our view, in training. If we don’t see these players in the friendly, it doesn’t mean Bob hasn’t given them their shot – just that the decision has already been made based on that evidence. The primary purpose of these friendlies is to prepare the team for the Big Cup.


    • Posted by Colin on 2010/04/30 at 7:31 AM

      Yup, these friendlies are to prepare the team for the world cup. But I would argue that right now, the US only has a 10 man squad and still need to find the best man to play up top with Altidore. I think we all would love to see Davies play there, but the fact is, by the time the May friendlies come around, he most likely wont have played in a competitive match in more than 7 months…nobody knows how hes gonna look. So…whos gonna start May 25th and May 29th? For me its got to be Buddle or Gomez on May 25th with an 85%+ Davies coming in at 60 minutes….and judging from those performances…deciding who starts May 29th….and judging from that game…deciding who starts June 5 against Australia….which will be the same person that starts June 12 against England.


      • Bob sez that between 16 and 18 spots are secured. That’s the core of the team there. Up front is troubling but it’s very easy to see Dempsey playing off Altidore much like he’s played off Zamora for Fulham with Holden playing on the right of midfield. Definitely see this as a strongest starting 11. There’s no question that’s what we should see vs. Czech is the line-up Bob expects to start with vs. England which I would project as Altidore, Dempsey, Donovan, Edu, Bradley, Holden, Boca, Gooch, DeMerit, Spector.

        The biggest question about our best 11 is in the back with the patchy form of DeMerit for his club and whether it means he’s dropped, Boca moved to CB and a quicker player like Pearce or Bornstein deployed at LB. Alternatively Spector could be moved to LB, with Dolo slotting in at RB but I don’t think this is advisable against England with a lot of tucking in to cover the far post will be required of the RB with England playing a winger on their right flank. I could see a reshuffle of the back line vs Turkey with Bob going to Spector, Boca, Gooch, Dolo which he might use in the matches vs. Slovenia and Algeria where we can use a more attacking set up. That said, I would rather see a stable back 4.

        I could perhaps see Buddle coming on for Dempsey at the half vs. Czech to get some playing time with Altidore before he comes off for Davies. Buddle could perhaps start the Turkey match if Bob sees him as an option if Jozy is unavailable, or in combination with Jozy in a more attacking formation (drop Edu, Dempsey to RM, Holden to CM). However, after 30 minutes as a substitute vs Czech, I would be expecting Davies to make the start and go 45 minutes in partnership with Jozy in the second match if he’s fit enough to make the roster.

        I would expect Gomez to be given a turn as a 70th minute substitute in one or the other of these matches since Bob is intrigued by his goalscoring as a substitute, and perhaps used in tandem with Conor Casey in a big/small combo at some point. Bob will have the advantage of seeing what works in training so if we don’t see certain possibilities it’s probably because they didn’t work well.


      • Posted by Colin on 2010/04/30 at 10:59 AM

        Dempsey’s versatility is absolutely priceless right now, but I still have to believe that there are 4 total spots on the roster for strikers/forwards out of the 23 and Altidore and Casey are probly the only 2 of the 16-18 secured that are forwards. So between Davies, Buddle, and Gomez…2 of those 3 could have a spot. Beyond that…looking at the US player pool…I can only pick 27 players total that would even be in consideration at this point for a spot on the 23….and that includes Buddle, Gomez, Davies, J Jones, R Rogers, Torres, Beasley…3 of these 7 will get a spot and 4 will not…at least thats what I think.

        The 20 that I think are in are Howard, Guzan, Hahnemann, Spector, Gooch, Boca, Demerit, Bornstein, Pearce, Cherundolo, Bradley, Dempsey, Donovan, Holden, Clark, Edu, Bedoya, Feilhaber, Altidore, and Casey….have I overlooked anyone?


  5. Posted by Wilson on 2010/05/02 at 10:59 PM

    Buddle would be playing Jozy spot if it came down to him playing. I am impressed by Buddle his touch on the ball. It is nothing that Brian Ching hasn’t done or can do. Buddle is just gonna get pushed around tom much to be a target forward and the World Cup Level. John Terry is can walk and still knock Buddle down. Remember the card that Buddle earned for get knocked down by Sacha Kljestan.


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