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Buddle bolts for German second division
by Ridge Mahoney, January 11th, 2011 1:26AM

TAGS:  americans abroad, germany, mls


[MLS] It’s not all that surprising that a goalscorer like Edson Buddle could find a foreign club, but the destination is a bit puzzling. Buddle, whose MLS deal with the Galaxy expired last month, has signed with German second division club FC Ingolstadt. The Bavarian club earned promotion from its regional league last spring, and this season is 17th in the 18-team Bundesliga 2 coming out of the winter break.

The second-leading scorer (17 goals) in MLS season, Buddle has left the league after scoring 90 goals for the Crew, Red Bulls, and Galaxy in a 10-year career.

“While I have decided to leave the Galaxy, I do so with fond memories of my four years with the club,” Buddle said in a statement. "I thoroughly enjoyed my time in Los Angeles and will miss my teammates, coaches, staff and everyone who works for the club as they helped make me the player that I am today.

“I also want to thank all of the great Galaxy fans who have supported me ever since I arrived at the club and I am hopeful that one day I will be able to return to the Galaxy and help lead them to an MLS Cup championship.”

Buddle’s base salary last season was $188,448 and he didn’t qualify for a league benchmark allotted to players at least 30 years old and with eight years of service to the league. He did not enter the Re-Entry Draft and trained with English club Birmingham City but would have run into difficulty acquiring a work permit had City or another English club offered him a contract. He doesn’t meet the requirement that a player have appeared in 75 percent of his country’s competitive internationals during the past two years, having played in only two  – both in the World Cup – of the 25 competitive U.S. matches in 2009 and 2010.

The Galaxy had reportedly agreed to bump up Buddle significantly in salary but with Landon Donovan and David Beckham already on the books as DP, and Juan Pablo Angel possibly to stay in that category while taking a salary less than the $1.62 million (base salary) he earned in 2010, it couldn’t upgrade Buddle to DP status.

Salaries in the German second division are higher, yet not significantly so, than the average MLS deal. But goalscorers are always highly valued and if Buddle scores the goals that helps Ingolstadt avoid relegation, it will be money well spent.

  1. David Huff
    commented on: January 11, 2011 at 5:38 p.m.
    Ric, you are in rare form again I see . . . : )
  1. Robert Kiernan
    commented on: January 11, 2011 at 7:28 p.m.
    Well first, there is no mention here of just how long this deal actually is for... but clearly they are signing him to USE him, so if he is healthy, he will be playing... and even if FC Ingolstadt does fail to stay up in the second division, if Edson manages to score goals the chances of his finding another, albeit hopefully better team are more than fair... so I'd posit that this likely is a pretty decent move for him from a career standpoint. As far as not yet being over 30, well that is likely a good thing for his chance of continuing as a regular candidate for future National Team call ups... and unlike either Jozy Altidore or Robbie Findley, Buddle has always seemed able to score regardless of whatever team he was playing for... but the Altidore case is telling, if you transfer to another team, you must go somewhere that intends to play you as opposed to somewhere where they see you as at best cover for the possibility of losing a starter to an injury... again this team seems to truly need and want him... something that both Jozy Altidore or Freddie Adu have yet to really be shown. I must say that historically Germany has shown a much greater acceptance of American players trying their hand at playing in their leagues and their country as compared to Great Britain, were time and again it has been made as difficult as possible for our players to get a work permit unless they were eligible through dual citizenship like say, John Harks or Stuart Holden... but how many times did Brad Friedel try to get permission before he finally got to play in the EPL? And Bunker Bob's not playing him enough certainly hasn't helped Edson much either from this 75% status... no I think places like Germany or the Netherlands have real merit for our players if and when they try to move across the big pond to play in Europe. (ICE)

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