The first domino for the Galaxy fell the day after Edson Buddle signed with a German club when LA announced early this morning they had signed 26-year-old D.C. United reserve forward Adam Cristman, right, in exchange for the Galaxy’s first round pick in the 2011 MLS Supplemental Draft.
Cristman has had three MLS clubs, including the New England Revolution and the late Kansas City Wizards, in four years and two serious injuries including a fractured metatarsal that required lengthy stays on the sideline.
The 2007 MLS Rookie of the Year finalist has scored 12 goals and six assists in 68 career regular season games; in 2008 he notched a career-best six goals in just 18 games when a toe injury limited his appearances.
The University of Virginia product had two goals in eight starts for D.C. United last year.
The three-round Supplemental Draft, reinstated by MLS this year, will be held a week from today, five days after the main MLS draft, also a three-round event this year, down from four.
Cristman doesn’t sound like the starting forward (or two) the Galaxy require, but the team needs bodies in that position at the moment so it’s a start.
The Galaxy’s striking needs in the wake of Buddle’s departure was the subject of today’s column along with the usual Beckham speculation we’ve seen season after season and the departure of Galaxy icon Cobi Jones.
Some critics have suggested Buddle’s MLS exit represents a black eye for league. I disagree and so did USMNT Coach Bob Bradley when I spoke to him Monday at camp in Carson:
“Players have to make decisions that fit what’s good for them and in this particular case he’s 30 years old (soon) and now the window for possibly going to Europe is small. And as much as MLS has shown that its paying some very, very big salaries, clubs still have to make decisions at a certain point of the season.
“MLS is continuing to play a major role in the development of soccer in this country and sometimes you’re going to have different players at different times who think it’s an option for them (to go to Europe). I don’t think it’s a knock on MLS at all.
Former U.S. international and Fox TV analyst Eric Wynalda agreed:
“Good business – don’t condemn them,” he said. “I’m really happy for (Buddle) to get the opportunity to go somewhere else.
“If Edson is comfortable and they really want him it’s a good place to be,” he added. “I would venture to say if he’s a success he won’t be there long.
“When these opportunities come for these players we need to recognize them for what they’re worth … and not always feel like were losing something. Sometimes we’re creating opportunity (for players).”
Galaxy defender A.J. DeLaGarza was surprised to hear Buddle had left Monday:
“It’s crazy. I didn’t even know his contract was up. I’m excited for him. I hope he can perform well.
“We’re going to need some people to step up whether that’s Landon playing forward — maybe even signing Angel or grabbing some people from the draft.
“Angel brings pressure. Like Edson he can hold the ball up top and he’s one of those inside the 18 finishers — he can finish like no one else. So hopefully he could be a little bit of a replacement for Edson.”
Hot Spur? The Galaxy’s David Beckham trained with EPL club Tottenham Hotspur today for the first time. Incidentally the caption supplied with this picture observed that “Beckham, left, (is seen) in action with teammate Wilson Palacios … at the Spurs Lodge in Chigwell, England.” Teammate? Hmm. (AP Photo).
In other trade news, midfielder Daniel Paladini of Northridge was signed today by the Chicago Fire along with Croatian Josip Mikulic.
The 26-year-old Paladini had been playing for the Division 2 Carolina Railhawks where he had seven goals and added five assists in 34 games and was named team MVP; Paladini was a 2006 MLS Supplemental Draft selection by the Galaxy and played for cross-town rival Chivas USA in 2008, seeing action in eight games, before joining the RailHawks.
Mikulic, a 24-year-old central defender, joins Chicago from Croatian side NK Zagreb.