Buddle, Pickens won't play in final preseason match

Pareja said forward, goalkeeper won't play vs LA Galaxy in final preseason match

Edson Buddle will have to wait a few more weeks before facing his former team.

The Rapids will take on the LA Galaxy at Harder Stadium in Santa Barbara, Calif. on Friday in the last preseason match before kicking off the 2013 season next Saturday at FC Dallas.

Head coach Oscar Pareja told ColoradoRapids.com that Buddle, as well as goalkeeper Matt Pickens, won't play against the defending MLS Champs.

"It would be good to have both play, but we want to wait for a complete recovery for both of them," Pareja said. "They do not need to prove themselves on Friday, they are preparing themselves for a long season."

Buddle is recovering from a knee injury suffered at the January camp with the U.S. National Team. Pickens sustained a muscle injury in training in his lower left leg and Pareja doesn't want to rush him back, either.

"Edson did field and finishing work this week," Pareja said of his new striker, who was acquired from LA in December. "He's doing very well, and is improving a lot. And Matt (Pickens) is also improving. So we're optimistic we'll be able to count on having the full group available for the match against Dallas."

Friday's match kicks off at 8:30 p.m. MT and can be followed on twitter at @ColoradoRapids.

The Rapids kick off the 2013 season on March 2 in Texas against FC Dallas before returning to host the Philadelphia Union on March 9 at Dick's Sporting Goods Park. Buddle's next chance to face LA is on March 23 at The Home Depot Center.