Edson Buddle officially completed his return to MLS on Wednesday, with the LA Galaxy welcoming back their former Best XI forward. Buddle had left the Galaxy following the 2010 season to try his luck in Europe, but after a year with 2. Bundesliga side Ingolstadt, he received his release. Since the Galaxy had attempted to re-sign him and received no transfer fee when he left, they retained his MLS rights.
"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 in a team release. "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."
Although Buddle's time in Germany was considered mostly a disappointment, he was not without his moments. The 30-year-old scored nine goals in 31 league appearances. Those kind of numbers he probably isn't much different than the player who left MLS after scoring a league-leading 19 goals and was named to the Best XI in 2010.
Even without Buddle, the Galaxy already looked to have one of the more dangerous attacks in MLS. Landon Donovan, David Beckham and Robbie Keane are all expected to be back and the addition of Buddle potentially gives them four world-class players attacking opponents' goals.
The Galaxy were able to afford such a potent attack mainly because they cleared up some significant salary cap space during the offseason. Among the highly paid players to leave were Donovan Ricketts, Juninho, Gregg Berhlater, Frankie Hejduk and Jovan Kirovski.
The big question is how they'll stop other teams from scoring. Even with two of the best fullbacks in MLS -- Sean Franklin and Todd Dunivant -- there are questions at centerback and in the defensive midfield. Omar Gonzalez is currently nursing a torn ACL, Berhalter retired during the offseason and Leonardo is also recovering from a knee injury. As of right now, it would appear that untested players like Paolo Cardoza or Bryan Jordan could end up starting along with Brazilian import Marcelo Sarvas in the center of the midfield.
For more on Buddle's signing, be sure to check out Galaxy blog LAG Confidential.