Edson Buddle heading to Germany
LOS ANGELES -- Edson Buddle, unable to reach agreement with the Galaxy on a new contract, has found a home in Germany.
The Galaxy announced Monday that the big striker, the club's top scorer and MVP last season, is signing with German second-division side FC Ingolstadt 04.
Buddle, 29, was out of contract and is heading to Europe on a free transfer.
The New Yorker was an MLS Best XI selection and league MVP runner-up after scoring 17 regular-season goals for the Galaxy (he netted two more in the playoffs), and Fox Soccer reported that he rejected an offer from L.A. and was offered "potentially double" by Ingolstadt. Buddle made $188,000 last season.
The Galaxy would not comment on their negotiations with Buddle, and his agent, Richard Motzkin, said he would talk about Buddle's deal later this week after returning to Los Angeles from Germany.
"While I have decided to leave the Galaxy, I do so with fond memories of my four years with the club," Buddle said in a statement released by the club. "I thoroughly enjoyed my time in Los Angeles and will miss my teammates, coaches, staff and everyone who works for the club, as they helped make me the player that I am today. I also want to thank all of the great Galaxy fans who have supported me ever since I arrived at the club and I am hopeful that one day I will be able to return to the Galaxy and help lead them to an MLS Cup championship."
Buddle, who came to the Galaxy in a June 2007 trade from Toronto FC, scored 42 goals in 3½ seasons with L.A., fourth-best in club history. He netted 90 in 10 MLS seasons for Columbus, New York Red Bulls, Toronto and the Galaxy.
Ingolstadt, based in Bavaria, is 17th in the 2.Bundesliga with a 3-11-3 record and returns from winter break Sunday with a match at FC Augsburg.
Former New England Revolution defender Amaechi Igwe plays for Die Schanzer, and Freddy Adu has been training with the club. Emrah Klimenta, a 19-year-old forward from Northern California, is on the club's reserve-team roster.
Buddle, whose superb form to start last season won him a roster spot on the U.S. World Cup team, failed in a bid to gain a British work permit, Fox Soccer reported, which prevented him from signing with Birmingham City of the English Premier League. He also was linked to Scottish champion Rangers FC and drew interest from other English clubs.
Buddle's departure would intensify pressure to sign Colombian striker Juan Pablo Angel. The Galaxy obtained the former New York Red Bulls star's rights in last month's re-entry draft and is in negotiations with his representatives. He likely will not agree to less than a Designated Player salary after making $1.918 million in guaranteed compensation with New York.
Scott French covers soccer for ESPNLosAngeles.com.