The LA Galaxy announced the club has signed forward Edson Buddle on a free transfer. One of the top goal scorers in Galaxy and MLS history, Buddle spent the past year playing with FC Ingolstadt of the German 2. Bundesliga after leaving the Galaxy in January 2011.
A member of the U.S. National Team at the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa, Buddle scored 42 goals in 87 regular season games during his first stint with the Galaxy from 2007-2010, finishing third in MLS in scoring in 2008 and second in the League in 2010 when he finished the season with a career-high 17 goals. Per club and league policy, terms of the contract, which will be finalized once the club receives his International Transfer Certificate, were not disclosed.
“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.”
A fan favorite during his time with the Galaxy, Buddle was the club’s top scorer or second leading scorer every year from 2007-2010, averaging nearly a goal every two games after being acquired in a trade with Toronto FC in exchange for Tyrone Marshall in June 2007. After scoring five goals in his first season with the club, Buddle played a starring role in 2008, scoring a then-career-high with 15 goals to earn his first berth in the MLS All-Star Game. His 15 goals were the third most in MLS that season, with 10 of them coming in a seven game span between May 18 and June 29 during which he recorded a pair of hat tricks. However, injuries limited him to just 19 regular season games and 13 starts the following season, though he still managed to finish second on the team with five goals while helping the club reach MLS Cup for the first time since 2005.
He had his best season as a professional in 2010, scoring 17 goals and helping the Galaxy win their first Supporters’ Shield since 2002. The New York-native scored nine of the Galaxy’s first 10 goals of the season, recording four multi-goal games in the first six weeks of the season, and led the league in scoring all season long until being surpassed on the final weekend of the year. He continued his fine form into the postseason, scoring in both legs of the Galaxy’s Western Conference Semifinal Series win over the Seattle Sounders FC. The club was 13-1-1 in the regular season and playoffs when he scored a goal, compared to just 7-7-4 when he did not.
“We’re really excited to have Edson re-joining the LA Galaxy,” General Manager and Head Coach Bruce Arena said. “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.”
Buddle, who has three goals in 10 caps with the U.S. National Team, including a pair of appearances at the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa, began his MLS career in 2001 with the Columbus Crew, tallying 42 goals in five years with the club while helping them win the 2002 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, as well as the 2004 Supporters’ Shield. In 2006, he joined the New York Red Bulls, tallying six goals in 28 regular season games, playing the second half of the season under Bruce Arena. A year later he joined expansion Toronto FC and played in 10 games for the club before being traded to the Galaxy.
The only player in MLS history to score 40 or more goals for two different clubs, Buddle has scored 90 goals in 231 regular season games during the first 10 years of his MLS career, making him the eighth leading scorer in League history.
Buddle made the move to Europe in January 2011, signing an 18-month contract with FC Ingolstadt. The 30-year-old scored on his debut for the club later that month and went on to score three goals and record an assist in 14 games with the club, helping them to avoid relegation. This season, Buddle was one of the top scorers for Ingolstadt, tallying seven goals for the club in the league, including the first multi-goal games of his German career, scoring twice in a 4-2 home win over Dynamo Dresden on September 16 and doing so two weeks later in a 5-3 home defeat to VfL Bochum.