Sure, Edson Buddle can thrive in the early part of MLS’ near-meaningless regular season.
Sure, Edson Buddle can thrive while playing only one of four matches outside Home Depot Center.
Sure, Edson Buddle can thrive while Landon Donovan is running around midfield unmolested by opposing defenders.
Sure, Edson Buddle can thrive while he’s leading a team that even one of their biggest fans said would stink.
But what happens when Buddle gets into a US team, that for better or worse, has some expectations attached to it? What happens when Buddle or, more importantly Donovan, get marked out out of a match by some English or Slovenian guy, and service is reduced to a trickle? What happens with Buddle is inserted into the England match with 10 minutes left and the US down by a goal?
The questions about Edson Buddle have never been about his ability to score when it doesn’t matter. The question is about his abilty to score when it does matter – when it truly counts and when he truly is being relied upon.
Let’s remember his 2010 playoffs with LA. Do you remember them? Probably not, as he tossed up a zero goals in 375 min. goose egg during the Galaxy’s finals run. What’s so odd is that the Galaxy went to the finals last year, so clearly someone was playing well. Plus, with Donovan and Beckham on the field at that point, you’d think he’d have been able to latch on to some passes. But no, he kept up his Chris Webber routine.
This isn’t a new phenomenon either. Prior to last season, in 371 playoff minutes with Columbus, Buddle scored only twice. Folks, that gives him a MLS playoff total scoring rate of two goals in 746 minutes or one goal every four matches.
This is the guy you want when the US is down a goal in the World Cup and needing a clutch goal?
Give me a break.