SEATTLE – To Landon Donovan, the question is without debate: Los Angeles teammate Edson Buddle should be part of the U.S. national team training camp for the World Cup.
Donovan looked ready for South Africa with three assists, then scored his first goal of the season off an assist from Buddle in the Galaxy’s impressive 4-0 rout of the Seattle Sounders FC on Saturday.
In his next-to-last appearance for the Galaxy before joining the national team, Donovan set up the first three Los Angeles goals before chipping a perfectly placed pass from Buddle past Seattle goalkeeper Kasey Keller in the 67th minute.
So far this season, it’s been the other way with Donovan setting up Buddle. But the reversal of roles only displayed the chemistry the pair have developed. When asked if Buddle should be joining him at training camp, Donovan said, “Yes, absolutely.
“While a lot of attention goes to Edson, everybody else is doing a lot of things right to put him in position. Today, he did a lot of things right to put other people in the right position.”
Jovan Kirovski gave L.A. a 1-0 lead midway through the first half with a swerving goal from 25 yards that handcuffed Keller. Omar Gonzalez and Todd Dunivant added second-half headers as the Galaxy ran their regular-season unbeaten streak to 11.
Donovan Ricketts posted his sixth shutout of the season for Los Angeles (7-0-1), which showed some goal- scoring diversity for the first time this season.
Before Wednesday’s 1-0 win in Colorado, nine of the Galaxy’s 10 goals had been scored by Buddle, who is pushing for a national team invite. Buddle, who gets one more chance to impress U.S. coach Bob Bradley when the Galaxy host Toronto on Saturday, appreciated Donovan’s support.
“(Landon) sees me day in and day out and his words speak volumes. I think everyone in America … respects his opinion,” Buddle said. “We’ll see what happens from there.”
Donovan, the leader of the U.S. squad that opens World Cup play June 12 against England, set an MLS career high with his three assists. He leads the league with nine assists in just eight games and checked out in the 71st minute to a mix of cheers and boos that will almost certainly be all cheers from afar a month from now.
“We know that we are the better team and we wanted to be aggressive,” Donovan said.