LA Galaxy’s Jaime Penedo received the honor of Major League Soccer Player of the Week by the North American Soccer Reporters (NASR) for his clinical performance in the sixth week of the 2015 season.
Less than 10 minutes into the match against the Sounders, Penedo made a leap to save LA from trailing on an impressive header from Neagle. It was just the start of his exquisite performance. Sunday’s match against the Sounders also marked Penedo’s 13th clean sheet as a Galaxy goalkeeper. He fended off 10 shots on goal, a new career high, and shocked many, including himself.
“I think there was one that, if you asked me, I would say I honestly don’t know how I saved it. The player was right in front of me and he shot it and it bounced off of me. I would have never guess I would have saved that.” —Jaime Penedo
Jaime ended the match one save short from tying the Galaxy’s all-time single game club record set by Kevin Hartman 12 years ago. Is it a career high or is it the beginning of a period of consistent growth and leadership? Dubbed “San Penedo” by supporters, at 32 Jaime is at the crossroads for a goalkeeper to reveal whether his years of experience outweigh any doubts over age, and he has a number of things working in his favor: Matt Reis as his goalkeeping coach, a proven ability to make the big stops, a defensive line he legitimately has faith in, and a growing sense of confidence in his abilities.
Even the Sounders suggested that Penedo was the only thing preventing them from having had their best game of the season last weekend:
“I thought that was probably our best game this year. Sometimes soccer is that way. One chance for them in the first half – a header where you lost your mark – and they’ll beat you that way.”
LA Galaxy Insider Adam Serrano pointed out, in our latest installment of Corner of the Galaxy, that Penedo needs to work on his ability to distribute the ball for a more strategic offense, but that he absolutely deserves to be included in the conversation of being arguably “one of the most impressive goalkeepers the Galaxy has ever had…” right up there with Ricketts and Saunders.
Jaime Penedo tasted success this weekend and helped give LA a much needed win. Will it be enough to build on? Find out this Saturday when LA Galaxy faces Sporting Kansas City at the StubHub Center 7:30pm PDT.