Penedo Saves the Day

Galaxy scores early and goalkeeper Jaime Penedo helps team earn 3 points on the road
by Jamie Pham   |   Monday, August 26, 2013

Galaxy of Angels – column on Los Angeles Galaxy (LA Galaxy) & the LA soccer scene.

It seems like the Los Angeles Galaxy are on a roll with their current lineup as they are unbeaten in 3 games and earned themselves their 1st true road win since May 15 against Philadelphia after a 1-0 over the Vancouver Whitecaps last Saturday night.

Camilo Sanvezzo did not play for the Whitecaps due to a groin injury, which was huge considering he is 1 of the top 3 leading goal scorers in MLS.

Landon Donovan had an excellent strike when no one picked him up on the top of the box, allowing him to score early in the 3rd minute and stunning the 21,000 in attendance at BC Place. The play was set up by AJ DeLaGarza and Robbie Keane.

The Whitecaps had a few chances to even the score but could not find the back of the net. Omar Gonzalez and Leonardo did a very good job containing Darren Mattocks and Kenny Miller. Reo-Coker had some luck breaking through LA’s midfield and had close call right at end of the 1st half.

LA’s Jaime Penedo came up with a possible save of the year in the 82nd minute when Kekuta Manneh shot hit the right post and bounced right at Vancouver’s Jordan Harvey. Penedo got back up and made a diving one-handed save that denied Harvey of the equalizer.

"Great save," said Bruce Arena. "What more can you say?”

The Galaxy are prone to give up late goals and the Panamanian international made sure it did not happen again.

With 5 saves and a shutout, it is probably safe to say Penedo will be LA’s No. 1 goalkeeper from this point forward.

Despite Donovan’s early goal, the Galaxy would not have a shot on target for the rest of the game. Keane had a few shots that went wide of the mark.

When asked about his recent play, Donovan said, "We’re back-to-back MLS champions, I’ve scored the game-winning goal in both games so I think I’m plenty motivated.”

After Saturday, he currently has 131 goals in MLS and is 3 behind Jeff Cunningham’s all time record of 134.

This is the 2nd game in a row that Arena has gone with the same lineup and it does seem like it is working as LA has only allowed 2 goals in as many games. Leonardo played very well at centerback and DeLaGarza at rightback. Hopefully, this keeps up as Gonzalez will probably be called up to the US Men’s National Team in a few weeks so the backline will already have experience playing together with Sean Franklin back into the fold.

Wingers Gyasi Zardes and Hector Jimenez also still have work to do as they fall into their starting roles as their crossing are not up to par but was slightly better this week than last.

The Galaxy are currently sitting in 2nd place in the Western Conference, only trailing Supporters’ Shield leader Real Salt Lake by 4 points. With this loss, the Whitecaps drop down to 6th place.

San Jose’s Justin Morrow and Victor Bernardez earned red cards against FC Dallas so they will not be playing against LA next Saturday. This will definitely be an advantage to the Galaxy in the California Clásico.

NEXT UP: August 31 – Los Angeles Galaxy v San Jose Earthquakes, StubHub Center, Carson, Calif. 10:30 p.m. EST, TWCSN and MLS Live.

Jamie PHAM

Pasadena City College
Club Domestic:
LA Galaxy
Club Foreign:
Former tour manager turned sports blogger, Jamie spends loads of time reviewing the Los Angeles sports scene and is a big MLS and USMNT supporter.