[MLS] Edson Buddle and Landon Donovan picked up where they left when they departed for the World Cup. They needed only 19 minutes to team up for the Los Angeles Galaxy's first goal in an impressive 3-1 win over the Seattle Sounders before a sellout crowd on Sunday night. Here's what they had to say after the win ...
With their World Cup coach Bob Bradley watching, Buddle scored on a header off Donovan's free kick. It was Buddle's 10th goal and Donovan's 10th assist, both league highs.
"I’m tired," Donovan admitted. "There was a lot of energy and emotion in the beginning of the game with the big crowd. We put a lot of energy into the first half and then got tired, but I’m really happy to be back and I’m really happy to be a part of this team again.”
Buddle admitted he wanted to well in his return match.
"Being that it was a sold-out crowd," he said, "you want to impress the crowd so that fans come back on nights besides the Fourth.”
The Galaxy dominated the Sounders in the first half but had to wait until three minutes after the break for its second goal, a golazo from more than 30 yards by young Brazilian Juninho.
Afterwards, Galaxy coach Bruce Arena praised his two World Cup players.
"I thought they played well," Arena said. "Early in the game, you could see that Landon’s legs were a little heavy. He hasn’t quite, obviously, recovered from the games, travel, all of that. Certainly to Landon’s credit, he’s desire to be here, to be on the field and try to make us successful. Overall, I give him high grades on his performance tonight, as I do for Edson."
Arena acknowledged Donovan needs rest.
"If Landon was going to play his first game back from the World Cup," he said, "it was going to be in Los Angeles. If he needs some time off, we are going to give him some time off. It may be a decision we make his week. He may not be going to New England."
Arena had special praise for Juninho, who scored his first MLS goal.
"I thought he was outstanding tonight," he said. "We’ve seen this over the past month. He’s a very good player. He caught up to the speed of the game and the way we play in MLS. With all players, it’s a transition period. I think he’s done very well. You can see him being to emerge. I think he’s an outstanding player. I’m so happy for his goal. We see those goals in training. It was a fabulous goal."
The win gave the Galaxy a 11-1-3 record at the halfway mark. It is on course to smash its MLS record for points per game set in 1998 when it went 24-8 (shootout era) but failed to advance to MLS Cup.
The '98 Galaxy averaged 2.12 points per game -- the only time a team has averaged more than two points a game. The 2010 Galaxy is averaging 2.40 points per game. It needs 28 points in its last 15 games to break its record.