Edson Buddle could be back in a LA Galaxy shirt when the MLS season opens in March. The striker, who left the Galaxy a year ago for Ingolstadt in the 2.Bundesliga, has been released from his contract by the German club and is now a free agent. Recent reports now indicate that he will make his way back to the Galaxy, who he shined for and help to the 2009 MLS Cup final and 2010 Supporters' Shield.
Not long after it was announced that Ingogstadt had released Buddle, Alexi Lalas tweeted that Buddle was likely on his way back to the Galaxy. More sources confirmed that they were hearing the same about Buddle's MLS return, which is not surprising after Ingolstadt allowed Buddle to explore his options in December and the striker struck out after a trial with Everton.
Buddle spent four years with the Galaxy and he scored 44 goals for the club. His best season came in 2010, when he scored 19 goals en route to MLS Best XI honors. That fantastic season also helped him earn a spot on the United States' World Cup squad and offers from overseas. Because he left the Galaxy on a free transfer and the club did not receive any compensation for him, they retain his MLS rights, making a return to LA very likely if Buddle returns to MLS.
The Galaxy were heavily dependent on Buddle in 2010 and often played him as a lone striker or with a poor strike partner, leaving him to battle alone for 90 minutes, week after week. If the Galaxy can bring him back for 2012, they will not have to depend on him nearly as much thanks to Robbie Keane, who will partner with Buddle. Along with Keane, David Beckham and Landon Donovan, Buddle would give LA one of the most potent attacks in MLS, which the team will need considering their defense has been severely weakened by the major knee injury to Omar Gonzalez. Of course, this is all assuming Buddle to LA is completed, which is hardly assured.