Three Points: Jaime Penedo amazes as LA Galaxy lock down playoff berth with 0-0 draw with San Jose
CARSON, Calif. – LA Galaxy Insider Adam Serrano offers his Three Points to the LA Galaxy’s scoreless draw with the San Jose Earthquakes.
LA GALAXY LOCK DOWN PLAYOFF BERTH
The LA Galaxy are heading to the 2013 MLS Cup Playoffs.
By virtue of their scoreless draw with the San Jose Earthquakes, LA booked their ticket into the postseason for the fifth consecutive season. The Galaxy’s playoff qualification is an MLS record 15th in the club’s history. Just where the Galaxy will be positioned in the postseason still remains a mystery and will be determined by their final game of the season against Seattle Sounders FC.
A victory over Seattle and LA will lock down a top three position, but a draw and they’ll need a loss or tie from the Colorado Rapids in their match against Vancouver Whitecaps FC to avoid the Knockout Round . The Galaxy still hold an outside shot of finishing first in the West that will be entirely dependent on an LA win over Seattle as well as Chivas USA victories over Real Salt Lake and the Portland Timbers.
JAIME PENEDO ES GRANDE
It’s no secret that Jaime Penedo’s presence in goal has been massive for the LA Galaxy and the Panamanian goalkeeper stepped up once again on Sunday.
Penedo made four saves in an active first half, setting the tone for the scoreless draw that helped the Galaxy lock down their postseason berth. Each of Penedo’s saves was of the acrobatic variety as he repeatedly denied San Jose’s efforts to break the deadlock. No save was more impressive than in the 40th minute, he parried away a Chris Wondolowski effort from close range, which fell for Shea Salinas, but his chance was blocked by LA defender Omar Gonzalez.
The saves weren’t Penedo’s only contributions as he dominated the penalty area with five catches, two recoveries and a punch out during the draw. With the shutout against San Jose, Penedo now has four shutouts in his eight MLS regular season games played.
INTENSE MATCH PROVIDES PLAYOFF PRELUDE
The LA Galaxy are heading back to the postseason and once they get there they’ll likely face more matches like Sunday’s dramatic and intense affair at StubHub Center.
From the outset, the match was a track meet as the game ebbed and flowed in front of an active crowd of 25, 418 at StubHub Center. Even though the match was a quick one, there were constant challenges from both sides that in the end resulted in a total of 25 fouls. The physical play did not put a damper on chances as LA forced three saves from San Jose’s ‘keeper Jon Busch to Jaime Penedo’s four.
The hectic nature of the match did have one casualty as the Galaxy will be without midfielder Juninho for their regular season finale against Seattle Sounders FC next Sunday due to yellow card accumulation. The Brazilian midfielder picked up his sixth caution of the season in the 70th minute for a foul on San Jose’s Sam Cronin.
Adam Serrano is the LA Galaxy Insider. Read his blog at LAGalaxy.com/Insider and contact him at LAGalaxyInsider@Gmail.com