On Saturday against Real Salt Lake, Edson Buddle came in at the hour mark and proceeded to do next to nothing. He did manage to earn a foul in the offensive area, but he came in to play up top and didn't take a shot in half an hour. It's worth asking, what does Bruce Arena expect of Buddle in these situations?
"No [I didn’t get what I wanted from Buddle]," said Bruce Arena, "cause I’d want to get a goal."
Edson Buddle hasn't scored since May 26th, in the 10th minute; hasn't scored since coming back from injury. Off the bench he's averaging 3.1 shots per 90, 1.03 of those on goal. This stat is a bit misleading, Buddle had three shots and one on goal in twenty two minutes against Toronto. Outside of that he's only managed one shot on target since his five minute debut at the beginning of September.
Buddle is also in the positive on fouls committed and suffered, and averaging fewer than one offside call per appearance. This all gives him a Match Impact of 20.56 in his appearances off the bench. Our match impact rating primer will tell you that an average below 25 is not so good for an offensive player.
That Bruce Arena thought to bring in a not so good offensive player who isn't scoring goals off the bench to replace Mike Magee who was having an average game is confusing. However, perhaps Arena is hoping Buddle will snap back into his earlier season form.
Except, his early season form wasn't that great either. Bringing in the whole year Buddle only rises to a 25.74, averaging 0.34 points per ninety minutes. Lest you think it's his current off form that's dragging the curve down, Buddle has played 805 minutes on the year, more than Chad Barrett logged before he was loaned out. None of Buddle's off the bench appearances over the last month have been more than half an hour, so if anything his pre-injury form is the biggest factor there.
Buddle had two goals and one assist before his injury, over some 600 or so minutes. Chad Barrett actually had more points, well one more, over less time.
So Buddle isn't a good option off the bench. His over $200k salary has been a bit of a waste this season. However, after Bruce Arena said he was disappointed he didn't get a goal from Buddle, he said: "Our service wasn’t good." Then why go with a forward who's only ability is to finish good service?