RECAP: LA v Ventura County Fusion

So Edson Buddle scored a goal for the LA Galaxy today… what is this, 2010? Amiright??

Nope you read that right, Edson is back! Or at least as a trialist for his former side — now a free agent after cutting ties with the Colorado Rapids, Buddle is looking to come back for his third spell with the club, and if he keeps scoring like he did in today’s closed door scrimmage against local USL PDL side Ventura County Fusion, he should find himself in Bruce Arena’s plans for the 2015 MLS season.

The game finished 2-0 with the Galaxy earning a solid win over the eager USL PDL side from Ventura. The game provided a good test of fitness for Bruce Arena’s side, and some top-level experience for the Fusion, who held their own and were probably unlucky not to have scored.

Bruce Arena started 7 of his probable MLS starters including Robbie Keane, who scored early on after Stefan Ishizaki stole the ball off a defender on the Fusion’s goal line and laid it off for the captain to pass home from 15 yards. The Fusion had one or two decent chances but goalkeeper Jaime Penedo was up for it and kept a clean sheet until half-time when Arena brought on essentially an entire different team.

Buddle was clinical with his one shot on goal after a cheeky ball through two defenders from Raul Mendiola. Mendiola was one of the brightest players for the Galaxy, running the Ventura defenders ragged and setting up Jack McBean for a shot that he probably should have scored in the second half.

Wednesday’s match also saw recent Super-Draft pick Ignacio “Nacho” Maganto from Iona college get his first action.  Coming from a smaller school, it’s been hard to predict what exactly he could potentially bring to the Galaxy this season, but he was a real live wire today — his explosive pace and commitment to working off the ball should find his way into the first team at some point this season.

The game also saw Oscar Sorto return from his first USMNT camp, and his confidence from the experience was clear from his play on the field. Bombing up and down the wing, he should be a great backup to Dan Gargan this season at right back.

No Gyasi Zardes, as he was busy making his first appearance for the National Team in Chile tonight, but the match gave Bruce Arena both a good chance to evaluate his squad’s fitness, and to take a look at some younger players on the outside looking in.

It was satisfying to finally see the Galaxy were back in action, and I can taste the start of MLS on the tip of my tongue. Only one more month and I, along with the rest of you Galaxy fans, can come out of hibernation.

The Galaxy’s next preseason match takes them to Sweden as they face Hammarby on February 16th with the MLS opener just over a month away.