CARSON, Calif. — LA Galaxy striker Edson Buddle, who was a surprise inclusion to the US national team’s World Cup squad, was not included in the most recent squad called up for this week’s friendlies against Poland and Colombia. But the 29-year-old is tempering his disappointment.
“I’d love to be at that camp,” he told MLSsoccer.com. “But I’m not playing my greatest right now, so I’m not too disappointed. I’m coming off a hamstring injury and being in that environment would probably put some stress on my hamstring anyway.”
With the Galaxy in a tight race for the top seed in the Western Conference and the Supporters Shield, Buddle—who notched his 15th goal of the season in LA 2-1 win over Chivas USA on Sunday night—is a vital component of the club’s title hopes. The same goes for Landon Donovan, who was also not included in Bob Bradley’s list.
Among the 20 players that Bradley has called into camp for the October matches are newer faces Brek Shea, Eric Lichaj, Jermaine Jones, and Alejandro Bedoya. With three years until the next World Cup, Bradley will likely use many of the upcoming national team games as a testing ground for potential new talent.
“The new guys make it competitive,” said Buddle. “It’s good. It’s more at stake. Hopefully that can elevate everyone’s game—especially at my position. When things are competitive, it helps my game in the long run. When you have to fight for your job, you end up doing great things with your potential.”
Bradley’s recent re-signing as coach through 2014 could herald good things for the Buddle. After all, Bradley was the one who decided to call Buddle in for the World Cup in the first place despite the striker’s lack of international experience.
“I think Bradley getting picked up [for another cycle] is great,” Buddle said. “He’s really a soccer nut and he puts a lot of thought into his decisions. I haven’t heard much talk yet [from other players] about Brazil in 2014, but I know that Bob is already working hard to prepare for that. It’s already on his mind.”