CARSON, Calif. — Edson Buddle scored in the sixth minute to give the Los Angeles Galaxy a 1-0 victory over the New England Revolution in the Major League Soccer season opener for both teams Saturday night.
Buddle converted a 6-yard diving header off Landon Donovan's 32-yard free kick. Goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts needed to make just one save for the shutout.
"Edson was great," said Donovan, who returned from a 10-week loan to Everton in England's Premier League on March 15. "He's looked very sharp since I got back."
Galaxy midfielder Eddie Lewis left the game in the 26th minute with a left foot contusion. New England's Kevin Alston tripped Lewis in the 18th minute and received a yellow card.
Buddle, who scored a career-best 15 goals for Los Angeles in 2008, missed 11 MLS games last year because of foot and calf injuries and finished with just five goals.
"I think this could be a good year for him," Galaxy coach Bruce Arena said. "He's definitely over his injury problems. He battled pretty hard and did a good job holding the ball up."
New England started five players who were not with the team last year, including three rookies.
"The inexperience we had manifested itself in the first half," Revolution coach Steve Nicol said. "We were just timid and unsure."