RSL’s Rimando and Galaxy’s Buddle trade Tucson for Genoa
After just two games at the FC Tucson Desert Diamond Cup, L.A. Galaxy striker Edson Buddle and Real Salt Lake goalkeeper Nick Rimando are headed to Genoa.
Although the long round trip will take a lot out of both players, with the chance to play for the U.S. against a world-class Italian squad on the line, they wouldn’t have it any other way.
“It’s always an honor to be called up and represent your country,” Rimando said.
Buddle felt the same way.
“It’s the best part of your job, moving around and getting to meet tons of people,” he said. “As long as I’m playing well, I don’t mind it at all.
“It’s part of being a professional. I’m excited to be doing that and keeping busy. I won’t be able to play forever, so I’m just enjoying it for the most part.”
The pair left Tucson on Sunday morning after facing off on Saturday night, a game that finished 2-0 in favor of the Galaxy. Both players have plenty of experience on the national team. Buddle hasn’t played for the USMNT yet in 2012, but saw action in four games last season, scoring once. Rimando has spent most of his national team career serving as a backup for the excellent Tim Howard, but had a fantastic game against Panama on Jan. 25, making several key saves and preserving a 1-0 victory.
After Saturday’s game, however, both players sounded almost reluctant to leave Tucson and their respective club teams.
“It’s a preseason game, but against a good team, and the opponent, they play at a high level,” Buddle said. “I don’t take these games lightly.”
Rimando hopes to be back in time for Real’s final game on Saturday, while Buddle heads to L.A. after leaving Italy. Buddle said he hopes to be back next year.
“It’s something that I hope continues in the future,” he said. “The awareness [of the fans] is great. It seems like they want us here. The crowd is awesome and it feels like a real league game.“