He’s not supposed to be the Colorado Rapids’ go-to man right now. But sure enough, the hottest foot on the team belongs to Edson Buddle, who’s played exactly 32 minutes over his team’s last three games but has two goals in his limited action.
Buddle scored the Rapids’ lone goal in their 2-1 loss to Sporting Kansas City on Saturday night at Sporting Park, blasting a 77th-minute volley that deflected off Sporting defender Matt Besler and into the net for his second goal in as many games.
That strike – his fourth of the season – came all of seven minutes after subbing on for Deshorn Brown in the 70th minute, and it followed his insurance goal against Vancouver on August 17, where the 32-year-old ripped a shot that nicked off a Whitecaps defender and gave Colorado a 2-0 lead.
Neither of Buddle’s goals will be in the running for Goal of the Year anytime soon. Both came on fortunate deflections that found their way into the back of the net. But that doesn’t matter to Buddle, who’s struggled through a string of nagging injuries for the majority of the season.
“I don’t know if it’s luck when you do it two weeks in a row,” he said. “When you shoot, you never know what can happen.”
Just a few weeks ago, the Rapids made two splashy moves to bring in Designated Player Gabriel Torres and veteran Vicente Sanchez to supply the goals that Buddle and the rest of the Rapids strikers hadn’t been supplying.
But now that he's healthy again, perhaps Buddle could be the answer to Colorado’s finishing woes – just in time for a key clash Saturday night against the LA Galaxy, the team from which the Rapids acquired him last December. He may have even done enough to jump back in the starting lineup while Torres is away on international duty with Panama.
“It’s a special game for me because I loved playing in LA before I was even on LA,” Buddle said of playing the Galaxy at the StubHub Center on Saturday night (10:30 pm ET, MLS LIVE). “I’m looking forward to playing against them.”
Chris Bianchi covers the Colorado Rapids for MLSsoccer.com.