Los Angeles Soccer: Birmingham City

GALAXY: New suitors for Edson Buddle?

December, 30, 2010

Edson Buddle, whose week of training at Birmingham City elicited transfer talk from the English Premier League club, has drawn interest from other British clubs.

The Galaxy has not acknowledged that it is willing to part with the 29-year-old forward, but all players, ultimately, are for sale. It's about meeting the right price, and Buddle's price tag likely tops $5 million after his splendid 2010 campaign.

Edson Buddle
Victor Decolongon/Getty ImagesIt appears the Galaxy striker may have a suitor or three in England.

Meanwhile, David Beckham's will-he-or-won't-he loan saga is boiling over as the winter transfer window nears, and Ronaldinho's move to Brazil isn't looking so certain -- so might the Galaxy still be in the running for the superstar attacker's services?

Buddle, who apparently visited Scottish champion Rangers FC -- home of Fontana's Maurice Edu (Etiwanda HS), Buddle's World Cup teammate -- during his December trip to Britain, could have several suitors on the island.

Sheffield Wednesday manager Alan Irvine is among his admirers, although the former top-tier team is now in the third-tier League One, and Buddle isn't likely to head to a lower-division club if he makes a move to Europe. Reports in Britain claim the Owls have contacted Buddle's representatives, Sky Sports says.

“He's been over here, to Rangers and Birmingham, and he's now back in America,” Irvine told the Sheffield Star newspaper. “He has scored a lot of goals for L.A. Galaxy. He's also played in the World Cup for America. He's obviously no mug.”

Sky Sports links Rangers to a bid for Buddle and claims EPL sides Everton (U.S. goalkeeper Tim Howard's club), Stoke City and Wolverhampton (home to Marcus Hahnemann, the No. 2 netminder on the U.S. World Cup team) also are “rumoured to be keeping tabs on the USA international.”

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EUROPE: Maurice Edu's return on the horizon

December, 7, 2010

Fontana's Maurice Edu didn't make the trek to Turkey for Rangers FC's UEFA Champions League finale Tuesday, but he's expected back soon -- possibly this weekend.

The former Etiwanda High School standout has been sidelined since going down with a knee injury in a Scottish Premier League match Nov. 10 against Hibernian, and the club's Web site reported that he "isn't far away from returning to the fray."

He won't play Tuesday in Rangers' meaningless clash with Bursaspor in Bursa, Turkey, but he might return for Saturday's league game at Inverness Caledonian Thistle -- if it goes off.

Tuesday's game counts for nothing: The Blues (1-2-2) have clinched third place in the four-team Group C -- and will drop into the second-tier UEFA Europa League's round of 32 -- and Bursaspor (0-5-0) is last. Edu, the Web site said, is building fitness and recovering from tonsillitis.

Edu has missed only three games, and he can thank the harsh weather that has hit Scotland the past month. Rangers hasn't played since it was eliminated from the Champions League by Manchester United on Nov. 24. Its last two Scottish Premier League matches were postponed because of icy conditions that left fields unplayable.

ANDERLECHT, TOO?: Belgian champion Anderlecht, with Huntington Beach's Sacha Kljestan, also is hoping to be in the Europa League's knockout stage, which begins play in February. The Zebras are third in Group G of the Europa League with a 1-3-1 mark following last week's 3-1 loss to Zenit St. Petersburg in Russia and must finish in the top two.

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