New LA Galaxy goalkeeper Jaime Penedo is settling into life in MLS, but the 31-year-old goalkeeper is hopeful that he’ll be able to earn minutes with the Galaxy soon.
The 31-year-old Panamanian international was on the bench for LA’s 3-3 draw with FC Dallas on Sunday, just days after making his Galaxy debut in the second half of the club’s 2-0 defeat to AC Milan in Guinness International Champions Cup Third Place Game. The appearance came only a day after the ‘keeper signed with the Galaxy on a free transfer.
Currently, Penedo finds himself serving as the backup to Galaxy starter Carlo Cudicini, who has started 21 of LA’s 23 matches this season. After serving as a regular for Los Canaleros and Guatemalan side Municipal for much of the last decade, it might be a bit strange for him to play a backup role, but Penedo admits that he told Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena in their very first conversation that he would be willing to wait for his chance to start.
“We went to dinner with a translator and he told me that he has followed me, and asked if I have patience. I said “yes I have patience,” Penedo told reporters after the Galaxy’s 3-3 draw in Dallas. “I want to work hard to help the team and do whatever I can for them, even being a backup is welcome.”
Where Penedo is almost certain to earn time this year is in CONCACAF Champions League play. Traditionally, Arena has opted to use his second choice ‘keeper for the CCL group stages, and he may offer Penedo his first start for the Galaxy in Tuesday’s match against Cartaginés at StubHub Center.
“We’ll see,” Arena said after the draw with FC Dallas when asked about when Penedo may take the field. “Every game is different and we’ll see.”
Expectations are considerably high for Penedo with the Galaxy and his native Panama, however, the ‘keeper is focused solely on fitting in with his new club.
“I know that the expectations are high in Panama. I’ve heard the commentaries and that’s what they want, but it is not my decision. It is my job to convince who I have to convince,” said Penedo. “I think that this week has been positive. I’m learning how to speak English and continue my job. Hopefully, things will work out.”