Edson Buddle, whose LA Galaxy contract ended this season, chose to sign with German 2. Bundesliga side FC Ingolstadt 04, as confirmed by the Los Angeles Galaxy this afternoon. Buddle was the Galaxy team MVP last year, and the winner of the Galaxy's Golden Boot award, with 17 goals. Also an American International, Buddle scored 42 goals in 87 regular season since joining the club in 2007.
"While I have decided to leave the Galaxy, I do so with fond memories of my four years with the club," Buddle said. "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 thanks 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."
The New York native began his career in 2001 with the Columbus Crew, where he tallied 42 goals in five years. He made stints with New York and Toronto before being traded to the Galaxy. It was with the Galaxy that Buddle broke free, scoring fifteen goals in his first season on the starting 11, and still scoring five goals in an injury plagued 2009. Buddle and Carlos Ruiz are the only two Galaxy players to score 15 or more goals in two seasons.
Edson Buddle leaving the Galaxy leaves the team in a bit of a bind. The club still hasn't come to terms with Juan Pablo Angel, and not having Buddle certainly gives Angel more leverage. Landon Donovan is an option at forward, but he's been playing midfield for a time now and will need time to become goal-first oriented. Whoever the Galaxy find to fill the void, they know now that they'll have David Beckham through the entire training period, as he chose not to sign on loan with Tottenham Hotspur.