Edson Buddle's Colorado Rapids tenure did not start as he envisioned when he joined the club before the 2013 season.
After being acquired by the Rapids in a trade with the LA Galaxy in December 2012, he was summoned to the annual January training camp with the U.S. Men's National Team. However a knee injury forced him to leave the camp, and then miss the Rapids preseason.
Now healthy, Buddle looks ahead to brighter second season in Colorado.
"It's great to be settled in, start out with the group, and be at the beginning of preseason," Buddle said after Wednesday first session. "It's always great to be here from day one, and build with the team and grow."
The 2010 World Cup veteran missed the Rapids' first four games last year before making his debut on March 30 in a 2-2 tie with Portland. He would go on to score five goals and add three assists his 24 games, of which the Rapids won or tied 18 (the team was 13-6-5 when Buddle played).
"I definitely want to show more of myself as a striker - to produce," he said. "People want to see goals, including myself....The most important thing overall is getting results, as a unit."
Now in his 14th season, Buddle is one goal away from becoming just the eighth player in MLS history to score 100 in his career.
He'll also be looking to impress yet another coach - and another former opponent, and teammate.
"Pablo is our coach, and I have a great respect for him as a player," Buddle said of Mastroeni, who is running the preseason sessions. "I'm kind of glad that he is the coach, because he's forced to pass on that knowledge that he's gained throughout the years."