That changed in the 38th minute, when L.A. defender Omar Gonzalez lifted a pop-fly of a pass from near midfield to Buddle, who was just above the penalty area.
Not surprisingly, the lone goal got most of the attention after Los Angeles’ 1-0 playoff win in Seattle tonight.
However, this was no ordinary goal, and the talk wasn’t ordinary talk.
In the 38th minute, Edson Buddle took a pop-fly of a pass from Omar Gonzalez just above the penalty area, shielded defender Patrick Ianni, one touched the ball left to buy space, and launched a shot that looped over Kasey Keller but under the crossbar.
Here’s how the two Sounders most involved saw it:
Ianni: “The ball came into Edson, and I tried to bump him a little bit. … He just kind of wrapped me with his arm, kind of put it to the side of him. When he went to shoot I thought obviously Kasey would have it. But he hit a wonder strike, so it’s one of those.”
Keller: “It’s just one of those things that I think guys try 100 times in their career and never make it happen. The one time he got it to go in a big game — and great goals change games.”
Buddle: “Omar got a good clearance on the ball and I saw that developing so I was able to get a turn on the ball. It bounced perfect and I took a shot. The way the ball bounced is why I shot it. I got a volley on it and it hit perfect for me. When I shoot, I hope to score. The way I wanted it to go, it went. Usually it’s not the case. I got good contact and the ball dipped just the way I wanted it to.”
Sigi Schmid: “He just turns and hits the ball in the direction of the goal and it could go anywhere, but it went in.”
LA coach Bruce Arena: “That’s a turf ball. There were a lot of turf plays — balls bouncing around, off of shins, up in the air, out of bounds. We don’t want to make too many copies of this game and distribute it around.”
David Beckham: Everyone is going to say did he mean it? Of course he meant it. He turned on the ball and there was no one else near him. It was good for us.”
Goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts: “It was a beautiful goal. I don’t think I could’ve saved that either.”
Landon Donovan: “It was pretty unbelievable. That’s your MVP and if you guys didn’t vote for him, you should be ashamed.”