by Mark Vincent Lincir

Photo from fOTOGLIF

Edson Buddle’s magic number is 28. That’s the number of goals he needs to score in order to break Roy Lassiter’s Major League Soccer single season goal-scoring record which he did in the league’s second season. Buddle is off to a blazing start, notching 7 goals in his first four games.

If he can keep that pace, he’ll get the record no problem. But can he keep that pace? He needs to stay healthy, the refs need to protect him and his team needs to keep getting him the ball. The league needs a compelling storyline besides waiting for David to come back from injury…and Buddle is it.

He was supposed to be the next great thing years ago…but injuries and lack of production have always kept him from being considered so. Now he’s dangerously close to snagging a spot on the United States’ World Cup Roster (Buddle over Findely? You’d have to think so right now) and maybe head off to Europe after the World Cup.

Effective strikers are not a dime a dozen…big center backs with no skill and oustide mids who can run all day but can’t cross to save their lives are. If Buddle can keep this scoring pace up it will change his life. He will head to Europe for millions…he will be the new face of US Soccer. He can come back from the depths of the “MLS for life player” stigma and break a record that has stood for 12 seasons.

But there can’t be any drop off…nobody can let him take his foot off the pedal to just come close to Roy’s record. He has to want that record more than anything and he has to break it…no excuses.

AROUND MLS…what happened in D.C.? Can one of the league’s most successful franchises become 2010’s laughing stock? Sure looks like it so far. Get a stadium and get it together! Chivas USA isn’t looking much better out west…is it time to bring Preki back? I’m really rooting for Martin though. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I actually scheduled time to watch the Red Bulls play live on Saturday (love the stadium, team is still growing on me…sign Maldini instead of Henry and you’ve got me though!).

Conor Casey’s chipped penalty kick against Toronto Sunday was magic (still can’t shake the English accent I picked up in the two weeks I spent there recently). I think Toronto will continue to be all over the place this season and I’m not impressed at all by big money maker Julian de Guzman yet…Houston will compete for the crown again and Kinnear has to be talked about as a possible replacement for Bob Bradley one day (hopefully soon)…Seattle’s game with KC on Saturday was flat-out ugly and how did KC get caught flat on a throw-in with just minutes left to play? Unacceptable…

New England lost to San Jose? Come on! Didn’t see it and almost don’t believe it. RSL looks too ordinary to repeat as champs. I still can’t find a reason to care about FC Dallas…sorry. Chicago needs Blanco back…and Colorado needs to fill their stadium! Bob Bradley needs to make sure to take Hercules Gomez and Buddle to South Africa or the United States will never score. Are we all waiting on Charlie Davies? Didn’t we do this with John O’Brien in the last World Cup?

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  1. If you noticed on the Seattle goal….the assist came from former AZ high school soccer stand out Brad Evans…his long throw, learned from his days in the rugged East Valley soccer area (Coached by your dear friend KP), where the likes of Hamilton HS top soccer staff taught the “Long Throw In” which was started by your favorite coach at Gilbert HS!!!!

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