Now that the 2013 season is over, LA Galaxy Insider Adam Serrano will look back on the season for every player who was on the club’s roster at some point during the season.
The LA Galaxy Insider Year in Review will begin with players who made the least number of appearances for the club in all official competitions over the course of the year, starting with Brian Perk and Bryan Gaul, who did not make any appearances for the first team this year, and concluding with midfielder Marcelo Sarvas who played in a team-best 42 games for LA this year. There will also be an evaluation of head coach and general manager Bruce Arena and his moves at the conclusion of the list.
We will have one or two evaluations per day and focus on what each player did well and what challenges they faced in 2013 as well as a select thought from the player on their performance and an overall assessment of their season from myself.
APPEARANCES IN ALL OFFICIAL COMPETITIONS FOR THE GALAXY: GP: 25 (21 in MLS regular season and four CONCACAF Champions League); GS: 25 (21 in MLS Regular Season and four CONCACAF Champions League); GA: 31; GAA: 1.24; SV: 39 (In MLS play)
APPERANCES IN GUINNESS INTERNATIONAL CHAMPIONS CUP: GP: 1
HIGHLIGHTS: Carlo Cudicini began the season as the LA Galaxy’s first choice goalkeeper, getting the nod in the club’s first 10 matches in all competitions and 14 of the first 15. Despite suffering from inconsistent form over that time, Cudicini hit his stride some the start of the summer when he recorded a 4-2-1 record with three shutouts over a month-long stretch. His finest performance in that run came during LA’s 2-1 victory over Vancouver Whitecaps FC on July 20 when he made two saves including a game-saving stop of a Kenny Miller chance in the 73rd minute of the Galaxy victory. Although Cudicini made just 21 regular season appearances, he tallied a team-leading seven shutouts and 39 saves. The 39-year-old also received a rare opportunity to face off against his boyhood club AC Milan when he made his lone Guinness International Champions Cup appearance.
CHALLENGES: Cudicini’s inability to make timely saves proved to be his undoing during the 2013 season. Although he faced few chances, when the Galaxy conceded dangerous scoring opportunities, Cudicini often could not make the necessary saves to keep his team afloat. His most troubling performance came during the Galaxy’s 5-0 defeat to the New England Revolution on June 2 as the Revs attack ravaged LA in the closing stages of the match, scoring four times in the final 20 minutes including two in second half stoppage time. Cudicini was left off the roster for LA’s 3-1 defeat to Real Salt Lake, but he returned to the starting lineup for the club’s next nine matches. In LA’s 1-0 loss to the New York Red Bulls on May 19, Cudicini exhibited one of his chief struggles when he failed to come off his line on the in swinging free kick that resulted in Tim Cahill’s stoppage time winner. That problem would reemerge in Cudicini’s final appearance for the Galaxy in the 3-3 draw at FC Dallas on Aug. 11. Although two of the three Dallas goals that were later shown to be offside, Cudicini was unable to deal with a number of crosses in the game, leading him to be replaced by Jaime Penedo in the starting lineup a week later. He was not included in the 18-man squad for any of LA’s final 17 games in all competitions.
HIS THOUGHTS: “My performance since the start of the season has been up and down, and I want to do better. I have to do better. It tends to be consistency. My view is I should play games, Bruce's view is different, and so I'm taking time off from the game to train harder.” – Cudicini speaking to reporters in June after not traveling for the Galaxy’s 2-0 defeat to Real Salt Lake.
OVERVIEW: Carlo Cudicini had a few strong performances for the Galaxy in his first season with the club, but ultimately lost out on the starting job to Jaime Penedo in August. Although he faced few shots and never had to make a large number of saves, Cudicini’s inability to make the big stop at crucial moments caused to him to fall out of favor with the Galaxy coaching staff. With the Galaxy boasting three strong goalkeepers in 2014, Cudicini’s days in a Galaxy uniform are expected to come to end, but whether or not he’ll continue his professional career remains to be seen.
POLL: How would you rate Carlo Cudicini’s 2013 season with the Galaxy?
Adam Serrano is the LA Galaxy Insider. Read his blog at LAGalaxy.com/insider and contact him at LAGalaxyInsider@Gmail.com