Get your mind right for this one. This is big. Huge. There will be more eyes on the game this Saturday at CommunityAmerica Ballpark than at any point the last few years. That's because Edson Buddle and the undefeated Los Angeles Galaxy are coming to town. Lots of links about Mr. Buddle. Plus, it's a Champions League week. All that and more in the nightly roundup.
Wrapping up a days worth of news, links, rumors and rampant speculation.
All About Buddle
When you get right down to it, the biggest story of the week in our neck of the woods (and possibly many wooded necks around this great country) is the striker with the golden boot coming to KC. Some facts... FACT: Edson Buddle has scored every goal (7) for the Los Angeles Galaxy so far. No one has ever scored the first seven goals to start a season for an MLS team.FACT: Only Real Salt Lake has scored at least seven goals so far in 2010.FACT: He has taken 22 of the Galaxy's 49 shots so far. FACT: The Galaxy have 14 shots on goal, Buddle has 9 of them. FACT: His stellar play is putting him in the running (or at least the speculation) to make it onto the U.S. World Cup roster. FACT: His stellar play has ESPN working on a special segment on him and the MLS for this Thursday's prime-time Sportscenter. (Okay, just kidding on that last one. Aside from Rob Stone and Alexi Lalas, no one in Bristol has any idea who Edson Buddle is. And, if they do, they probably think he's Jamaican.)Everyone loves Edson. Here's what some people around the tubes are saying.ESPN LA:
Buddle is doing something very special: No MLS player had ever scored his club's first seven goals of the season, he's doing all the other things demanded of forwards, expertly so, and it bears mentioning again that the quality of his goals has been something else. The two Saturday were superb: He shook off Nat Borchers to head home Landon Donovan's corner kick for a 1-0 lead in the 12th minute, then netted the winner with an emphatic finish in the 76th. Said Donovan: "I don't think I've ever seen anything like it."
What's the difference in 2010?"The ball's going in the back of the net, that's the main thing," Buddle said. "I've had good years before this, but this year I'm happy to be scoring again."AOL Fanhouse:
While we're waiting for Charlie Davies and Brian Ching to get healthy, or lamenting the inability of Jeff Cunningham or Robbie Findley to stake their claim, Buddle has come from nowhere to make his case for a spot in South Africa. His ridiculous run of form includes seven goals in the undefeated Los Angeles Galaxy's four games so far. ... On Saturday, Buddle grabbed both both goals in L.A's 2-1 defeat of RSL, avenging his critical missed penalty kick in last year's MLS Cup final and leaving many people wondering if he's the shocking answer to the national team's striker dilemma.ESPN:
It's not just the numbers that speak well of Buddle. The L.A. striker has been finding the net in all manner of ways, and his game-winning tally in the 76th minute, one in which he buried a half-volley past RSL keeper Nick Rimando, reveals a forward whose confidence level has long since exceeded the red line. Buddle has also been making huge contributions in terms of his hold-up play and the physical presence he has provided up top. Sounds like just the kind of player Bradley could use, right?
And some links:• Easily the MLS POTWTW (player of the week this week). Surprise, the word "brace" appears in the headline. C'mon, it's a "deuce" or a "double deuce" in honor of Patrick Swayze. [MLS
]• Soccer by Ives' gives him that honor too. [Soccer by Ives
] • A pretty thorough point-counterpoint on his National team merits. [Major League Soccer Talk
]So... uh... a good piece of advice for the Wizards would be to cover him. Possibly with two people. Possibly with the entire team.
• In case you missed it on Saturday (and again on Hillcrest Road today) here ispart 1
of Dave Borchardt's interview with Kei Kamara.
• FC Dallas will play Haiti in a charity benefit game on Friday. [3rd Degree
]• All isn't right in Toronto. [Major League Soccer Talk
]• Goff spends a few minutes with Curt Onalfo and Troy Perkins. [Washington Post's Soccer Insider
]• Juventus will play the Red Bulls in New York's soccer cathedral. [US Soccer Players
]• Seattle will unveil a third jersey. Do they need a third jersey? Do they even have a need for a second jersey? It's not like any other team in the league wears electric green. What color will this new jersey be? Please tell me it's neon purple. Please. [Go Sounders
]• Steve Davis' weekend roundup. (The Wizards are No. 3 in his power rankings.) [Sports Illustrated
]• WV Hooligan's highlights. [WV Hooligan
]• Matchfit USA's one thing on each game. [Match Fit USA
]MLS schedule Thursday, April 22
· Seattle FC at FC Dallas, 7 p.m. -- ESPN2Saturday, April 24
· Philadelphia at New York, 3 p.m.
· Real Salt Lake at Columbus, 6:30 p.m.
· Colorado at New England, 6:30 p.m.
· Houston at Chicago, 7:30 p.m.
·Los Angeles at Kansas City, 7:30 p.m.
-- Ch. 29 (KCWE)
· San Jose at Chivas USA, 9:30 p.m. -- FSC
Sunday, April 25
· Seattle FC at Toronto FC, 1 p.m.
The Champions League
• Two really, really great games this week. Set your DVRs or call in sick from work... we'll pretend we're a doctor if you need a note.Tuesday
· Barcelona vs. Inter Milan, 1:45 p.m. -- Fox Sports NetworkWednesday
· Olympic Lyon vs. Bayern Munich, 1:45 p.m. -- Fox Soccer Channel
Today's Must Read
• This is a week old and I don't think I linked to it last week. My bad. Grant Wahl on Freddy Adu: "Didn't you used to be our future?" [Sports Illustrated
Around the World
• Not a really busy day in football, but Liverpool dispatched West Ham 3-0 to stay alive in the hunt for Europa League. [The Guardian
Just for Fun
• I highly advise, if you don't do so already, to read the web comic Studs Up every single day. Always a font of entertainment. His Batman-Tottenham comic on Monday is awesome. [Studs Up