With Edson Buddle handling the brunt of the scoring load for the Los Angeles Galaxy in 2010, it would seem as though “a second forward” would be emblazoned at the top of the team's offseason shopping list.
But according to head coach Bruce Arena, there is already a player on the roster who could slide into the position.
“Landon Donovan can play there as well,” Arena told MLSsoccer.com on Monday. “We’ll likely look to play Landon in that position next year.”
Donovan was one of four Galaxy players on the MLS Best XI for 2010. With seven goals and 16 assists, his offensive contributions are as strong as ever, despite splitting nearly equal time at midfield and forward throughout the year. At times, he’d start in midfield and move to forward during the match; in other games, he’d play up top at the start.
But there is one caveat to a potential full-time move to forward for the US international, Arena said: “Landon needs to be more goal-dangerous next year if we decide to do that."
Buddle led the team in goals with 17. Together, Buddle and Donovan combined for 24 of the Galaxy's 42 goals. The club's third-leading scorer was veteran Jovan Kirovski, who had four goals on the season.
Just after the season ended, Donovan said that a second forward was one of the team’s biggest needs.
“Someone that takes more pressure off us offensively,” Donovan said. “Edson carried a lot of the burden this year and you don’t want to rely on that. … I think having another player that teams are worried about would be very helpful.”
Whether that player is Donovan or someone from outside the team, however, remains to be seen.
Ready to Launch: MLS Matchday 2010, The official MLS iPhone app. It's FREE! Download it here!