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Edson Buddle on Trial With Birmingham

SEATTLE, WA - OCTOBER 31: Edson Buddle  of the Los Angeles Galaxy follows the play against the Seattle Sounders FC during the 1st leg playoff game at Qwest Field on October 31, 2010 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)

While Clint Dempsey and Landon Donovan have had their futures in the Premier League discussed in great detail in recent days, another American international is trying to find a home in England.

L.A. Galaxy forward Edson Buddle is currently on trial with Birmingham, and should he do well, he may be offered a deal in next month’s transfer window.

He has only six international caps, which may make a work permit an issue, but I think this is a good move for Buddle.

Buddle, 29, has done enough in MLS. He had 17 goals in 25 matches for the Galaxy last season, and with the recent acquisition of Juan Pablo Angel, there’s a numbers (and salary) crunch at the Home Depot Center.

While he failed to find the net for the United States at the World Cup, Buddle has had a solid run of form in the past year. He’s grown up a bit, and has the strength and pace to play in Europe.

Now, can he make the team and then find playing time at Birmingham?

That, I’m not so sure of. But the fact that he has his foot in the door – and his price will probably be right – certainly bodes well for his chances.

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  1. The Gaffer

    December 21, 2010 at 9:12 pm

  2. CrazyMike

    December 17, 2010 at 5:54 am

    As a Galaxy fan, I think he’d do well and slot right in at Birmingham, but I’d be disappointed to see him go. While it is true the G’s acquired the rights to sign Juan Pablo Angel in the MLS re-entry draft, (perhaps an indicator that they’d be planning on selling Buddle) they still need to find a way to fit JPA’s rather large salary underneath the US $4.5m salary cap. And personally, I’d rather keep Buddle and give him a raise rather than pick up 35 year old JPA.

    For anyone who’s not seen him play, Buddle has comparatively great pace (even in MLS, which is a very pacy league,) great vertical leap and strength to win balls in the air, ball control and technical prowess of a surprisingly high level (under-utilized in LA’s current tactical approach imho,) and one helluva eye for goal. His career has been plagued by injuries so far and this is one of his first seasons to have been fit and first choice all the time. My gut says he’d go for about US $2-3m and will deserve that kind of fee by cementing himself as the primary target forward for the Yanks for the next WC cycle, barring shocking progress from any of Teal Bunbury (on trial at Stoke), Juan Agudelo (being courted by Athletico Madrid), or Jozy Altidore.

  3. jon sharp

    December 16, 2010 at 1:02 pm

    I was impressed with Buddle in the US friendlies prior to the world cup. He would make a very welcome addition to the Blues squad, but I am concerned about Blues bringing in yet another player that might need a period of adjustment to the Prem. Blues also need some quality up front and in a creative attacking midfield role starting January that doesn’t need a settling in period.

    • Dave C

      December 16, 2010 at 4:34 pm

      you think so? I thought Birmingham were looking fairly decent up front with Jerome and Benitez. I mean Buddle might boost their numbers in depth, but I don’t think he’d be an improvement on those two in terms of quality.

      I might be wrong though…my only knoweldge on the matter is due to Jerome being on my fantasy team last year so I watched out for their results a lot.

      • Jon Sharp

        December 16, 2010 at 10:58 pm

        Well, Benitez went back to Santos in the summer. He never really settled in at Blues and the Prem scoring only 4 goals in the 2009/10 season. He is doing well in the Mexican league tho’. Zigic (Serb international) came in as the new hopeful alongside Jerome. He has taken a while to settle also, and some Bluenoses think he is too slow to ever do really well in the Prem. But he has four goals this season including the winner against Villa in the Carling Cup (and a goal against Villa is clearly worth a lot more than any other goal 😉 Opinion is divided re. Jerome on the Blues forums. He has pace, he runs the channels all day and is super-willing but with only three goals this season, we really need someone who can hold the ball up more at the front and hit the back of the net more consistently. Last Saturday against Wolves, Blues did not have a single shot on target. This against a bottom of the table team unable to keep a clean sheet all season. While service to the front men (Jerome/Zigic) was appalling (and due credit to Wolves), you have to expect more from your strikers too. I think Buddle would be a good addition, but we can’t wait 6 months for him to settle. Blues failure to sign N’Zogbia or Zamora in the summer is starting to weigh on the ‘goals for’ column.

  4. Clampdown

    December 16, 2010 at 12:25 pm

    Another Yank, Teal Bunbury, played for the Stoke reserves this week, too.

  5. DGS

    December 16, 2010 at 11:37 am

    Eh…he’s 29.

    If it is a dream of his to play European football before his career is up, he has to go for it now.

    It’s certainly not a situation where you would worry that he could get lost on the bench and see his development suffer (See: Altidore, Jozy).

    I wish him the best of luck and hope to see him get an offer in January.

  6. Fernando

    December 16, 2010 at 11:32 am

    Oliver Kay confirmed this story as well via his Twitter feed.

  7. Dave C

    December 16, 2010 at 11:24 am

    I think the whole “not a trial, it’s just training with the squad” thing is a curious code-word of modern football.

    Why would he just be “training” with them? Did he just happen to be vacationing in the midlands, worried about losing a bit of fitness, so he called up McLeish who didn’t mind him just dropping by to join in with the training session? And of course neither party was interested in possibly taking the matter further??

    BS! Of course it’s a trial. If he looks good in “training”, maybe they’ll offer him something. Why else would they have him there? They just call it “just training” so neither part can be left embarrassed if it all falls through.

    The only exception to this principle (that “just training”=”a trial”) is where there is some kind of prior relationship between the club and the player whereby I could understand that training is simply a favour to the player (eg when Robert Pires returned to train at Arsenal recently, prior to joining Villa).

  8. John

    December 16, 2010 at 11:00 am

    I’ve seen a few reporters (i.e. Soccer by Ives) debunk this story already — he’s not on trial, he’s simply training with the squad.

    • The Gaffer

      December 16, 2010 at 11:08 am

      John, he is training at Birmingham. According to UK newspaper sources, he is on trial there, but no one from either Birmingham or LA Galaxy has either confirmed or denied whether Buddle is on trial.

      The Gaffer

      • Dave

        December 16, 2010 at 11:21 am

        Well, we all know how reliable the UK press is, don’t we? 😉

        • The Gaffer

          December 16, 2010 at 11:34 am

          Depends which UK newspaper you’re talking about. Some are unreliable, some of are very reliable. Just like the press in the States and other countries.

          The Gaffer

  9. Fernando

    December 16, 2010 at 10:17 am

    If Jason Roberts can somehow continue to be called a Premier League striker, then Edson Buddle should get his shot.

  10. VillaPark

    December 16, 2010 at 9:55 am

    Good luck cracking the lineup that McLeish rarely ever changes. I would wish him the best of luck, but it’s B’ham so…piss off Buddle.

    • The Gaffer

      December 16, 2010 at 10:01 am

      Who wants to put a bet on Buddle scoring a hat trick against Villa at St. Andrews on January 16?

      The Gaffer

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