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Buddle On The Rise

MLS may have let Santino Quaranta's cocaine test pass, but they weren't so lenient with LA striker Edson Buddle, who was suspended by the league in 2005 for refusing to take a breathalyzer test when stopped by police. Now it seems another young forward who promised so much when he came into the league is fulfilling his potential -- Buddle scored his second hat-trick of the season Saturday in LA's 3-0 road win over San Jose in Oakland, taking advantage of what Andrea Canales calls "service of the quality that a player like [David] Beckham provides."
"It would be nice to have Edson on our squad," mused Quakes' coach Frank Yallop, who signed Buddle for the Galaxy while coach there last year. Yallop's own front-line was "toothless," writes Canales, while the Galaxy, despite missing forwards Landon Donovan (off scoring twice for the USA against Barbados), Carlos Ruiz (who netted four for Guatemala against St. Lucia) and Alan Gordon (injured), "didn't seem to miss a step."
"One of the ways in which Beckham helps his squad is to create space for attacks," she continues. "When defenders concentrate on stopping him and his service, it allows for other teammates to be free for passes and strikes. Perhaps no player has gained confidence with that new freedom more than Buddle." Buddle, meanwhile, declared that playing with Beckham is "an honor."

Read the whole story at ESPN Soccernet »

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