New England Revolution
After enduring a year of heartbreak and failure for both club and country, Jaime Penedo finally got over the hump and ended the 2014 campaign with a championship.
Brought in as a savior for the LA Galaxy’s goalkeeping situation midway through the 2013 campaign, Penedo suffered a pair of setbacks in successive fashion as Panama failed to qualify for the 2014 FIFA World Cup and a month later LA were bounced from the postseason in the opening round.
Such disappointments stuck in the craw of the happy-go-lucky Panamanian goalkeeper heading into the 2014 season and he responded with aplomb.
During the regular season, Penedo enjoyed a 1.14 goals against average—.01 behind Goalkeeper of the Year Bill Hamid—while also making eight shutouts as he carried LA to the league’s second best record. In the playoffs, he shook off any claims that he could not come up in big games with stellar performances in LA’s series against Real Salt Lake and Seattle Sounders FC, the former which included a six save showing in the first leg.
In the MLS Cup final against New England, Penedo put forth yet another strong showing with six saves against the Revs to seal his first professional title since winning a title in Guatemala with Municipal. After years of frustration with Panama and his club teams, to win a title after such a trying season proved to be a “dream come true” for Penedo.
"It is a great blessing and a joy," Penedo told reporters after winning the title. “I dedicate this to dear God, my faith, my family, and my country.”
How would you rate Penedo's 2014? Read my review of the Galaxy goalkeepers for LAGalaxy.com and vote below.
CARSON, Calif. -- Robbie Keane enjoyed the finest season of his career in 2014 and now the Irish striker says that he'll take a well-deserved break that is causing him to take stock in his career.
Keane will be returning on Friday to Ireland after a season that saw him undergo a grueling recovery from a pair of Achilles surgeries before scoring 21 goals and 17 assists across 34 games in the regular season and playoffs en route to his third MLS Cup title in four years.
But despite winning the MLS MVP in 2014 and boasting one year on his contract with the Galaxy, the Irishman admitted to reporters at the club's championship rally on Monday that he'll be looking to reevaluate where he wants to be in the coming years.
"First and foremost, I've got to worry about myself," he said. "I have to worry about what I'm going to do. I've had a tremendous four years here. I need a vacation and see what next year holds for me first. I'll look at that first and see what's best for Robbie Keane instead of worrying about anybody else. I'll take a vacation and then see what I want to do."
Such talk comes amid a report that Queens Park Rangers head coach Harry Redknapp (Keane’s former head coach at Tottenham Hotspur ) may be interested in bringing him to London on a short-term three month loan. Although the Irishman did not address such speculation, he did admit that he is considering his future.
“I definitely need to recharge the batteries and see what the next chapter is for me, whether it's here or it's somewhere else. I just need to take a break and consider,” Keane said. “I'm not saying I'm going to leave, but what I'm saying is I need to consider what I want to do, you know? Sometimes change is good for everybody.
But when told of Keane's remarks, Galaxy head coach and general manager Bruce Arena shrugged off any talk about his captain leaving next season.
“I doubt that,” he said. “Where do you think he's going? I'm confident Robbie Keane will be back here next year.”
CARSON, Calif. -- The moment that will live on in LA Galaxy history forever.
In the 111th minute, Robbie Keane scored an MLS Cup winning goal with his clever finish off a pinpoint pass from Marcelo Sarvas which sealed the LA Galaxy's 2-1 Extra Time victory over the New England Revolution and their fifth MLS Cup. Now you can enjoy the goal in slow motion courtesy of the folks at MLSsoccer.com.
Check it out above.
CARSON, Calif. -- Time and time again, the LA Galaxy faced considerable challenges during their 2014 season and more often than not, it was their captain Robbie Keane who bailed them out.
Keane did so again in an impressive fashion with his extra time tally that gave the Galaxy a 2-1 victory over the New England Revolution in MLS Cup. Although the Irishman endured a frustrating game to that point, his finish past Bobby Shuttlesworth late in the game proved once more than the MLS MVP was the true class of the league.
“It wasn’t the greatest game to be honest with you. It was tough, New England played really well. I have to give them a lot of credit," Keane told reporters afterward. "We went 120 minutes and in the end it’s whichever team pulls out stronger. I think we certainly came out stronger in extra time. We’re thankful that we got the goal. It was a great pass from Marcelo [Sarvas].”
The goal capped what was the finest season in Keane's illustrious career: Over the course of 34 games in the regular season and playoffs, Keane notched 21 goals and 17 assists in his highest output for one team ever.
And after the game, you could forgive LA for singing the praises of their Irish captain.
"Keane is a guy that you want on your team because he's always going to give it his everything. There's no other way that Robbie knows," said Omar Gonzalez. "It wasn't going our way, but we found a way to win. We stayed composed and waited for our chances and we did that. Robbie had a few chances that he wanted back, but he made sure when the time came that he put his final chance in the back of the net. Now we're champions."
Added head coach Bruce Arena, "Robbie is been unbelievable since he stepped foot in MLS. I’ve been on record, I’ve said this, it’s very rare that an international player can step into this league, be adjusted instantly and not explain to us how you are supposed to do things and how it’s done elsewhere. I’ve never heard one “this is how they do it at Liverpool or Tottenham.” He’s bought into Major League Soccer from the start. He’s our greatest advocate. It’s been fabulous. Look of what we’ve done since we’ve acquired Robbie. Is it his team? Naw, its Mr. Anschutz's team to be honest, but he’s pretty big asset.”
— Adam Serrano (@LAGalaxyInsider) December 7, 2014
CARSON, Calif. -- It was an emotional week for Dan Gargan.
Not only did the defender win his first ever MLS Cup and help marshall the LA Galaxy defense to a victory, but he had his first child on Wednesday. Following the MLS Cup victory, Gargan, who was the final player signed during preseason, reflected on his wild week.
"It’s been an incredible year. I haven’t quite processed it all yet, it’s a beautiful thing. I’ve had an amazing week," said Gargan. "My wife gave birth to our first child, a girl, on Wednesday afternoon and I think I’ve slept a total of seven hours since then. That’s not an exaggeration. I can’t imagine it’s going to add to that total tonight, but we’re going to re-evaluate that tomorrow."
CARSON, Calif. -- LA Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena addressed the media following the Galaxy's 2-1 extra time victory over the New England Revolution in MLS Cup 2014.
Arena's thoughts are below...
(On Robbie Keane...)
ARENA: I don’t know whose team it is, but it’s nice to have him on the team. Robbie is been unbelievable since he stepped foot in MLS. I’ve been on record, I’ve said this, it’s very rare that an international player can step into this league, be adjusted instantly and not explain to us how you are supposed to do things and how it’s done elsewhere. I’ve never heard one “this is how they do it at Liverpool or Tottenham.” He’s bought into Major League Soccer from the start. He’s our greatest advocate. It’s been fabulous. Look of what we’ve done since we’ve acquired Robbie. Is it his team? Naw, its Mr. Anchutz team to be honest, but he’s pretty big asset.
(On the half time switch between Landon Donovan and Gyasi Zardes...)
ARENA: Robbie Keane suggested it at half time. He should probably be the player-manager of this team. We had of loose balls, but probably needed to be a little bit cleaner in the final third with our passing, our runs. Moving Landon there suggested we could be a little bit better there. Having said that, Gyasi was very good playing in the midfield. The change helped us. One would think if the game ended 1-0, maybe we’d say “eh, the game was nothing great.” But for us to get pushed like, it’s only right, and to see that we had the determination to win it out was tremendous. Again, got to give New England a lot of credit. They came in here with a plan. They are a determined, competitive group. Jermaine Jones is a real leader. It was a good battle. Maybe not the greatest game, but there was some drama involved. Maybe that’s good as well.
CARSON, Calif. -- The day is finally here.
In the latest edition of "What To Watch For," Joe Tutino and Cobi Jones break down the MLS Cup Final between the LA Galaxy and New England Revolution
Check it out above.
CARSON, Calif. -- In the latest edition of my Insider Breakdown for Galaxy TV, I break down the LA Galaxy's match with the New England Revolution.
In the video, I take a look whether Landon Donovan will get his Hollywood ending and finish his career as an MLS Cup champion.
Check it out above.
LA Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena on New England Revolution boss Jay Heaps: "He's an outstanding coach"
CARSON, Calif. -- LA Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena will be the elder statesman on Sunday when he takes on fourth-year New England Revolution head coach Jay Heaps.
On paper, the gap in experience between the pair could not be more different.
Arena, a four time MLS Cup champion, will be coaching in his seventh final while Heaps will lead the Revs for the very first time. Although there is a considerable experience gap between the two head coaches, Arena admires the growth that Heaps has shown in four years of coaching the Revolution.
"He's a person that I recruited at the University of Virgina, but he chose to go to Duke, so I hold that against him a little bit. He was a great athlete in both soccer and basketball, and he played for one of the great basketball coaches in Mike Krzyzewski and he was a big influence in coaching career. He put in a great shift with the Revs and became an understudy then went into coaching. He got help from Mike and other coaches and in a few years, he's become an outstanding coach.
"He's a work horse who puts in a lot of hours, he's very dedicated, very bright and obviously very good."