Despite hectic pregame, Jaime Penedo gives collected performance in LA Galaxy debut

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. -- Jaime Penedo made his LA Galaxy debut on Wednesday as he made two saves in LA’s 2-0 defeat to AC Milan, but the Panamanian international was almost unable to play against the Italians side.

As the Galaxy prepared to face AC Milan, Penedo’s International Transfer Certificate and P-1 Visa paperwork had not yet arrived meaning that he would be ineligible to participate.  However, with just minutes to spare, the Galaxy and Penedo received the green light.

Even though the chance to a debut for a new club is typically a nerve-racking experience, Penedo believes that the chaotic precursor to his first appearance may have calmed any lingering anxiety.

“We were awaiting one last document to arrive, it came in with about 20 minutes to spare. I didn’t think that I was going to be able to play. Bruce said that if the document came in then I would be able to play 45 minutes, but the window was quickly closing. I think that’s why I was so calm,” said Penedo. “Perhaps, if I knew I’d be playing, I would have been a little more nervous, but no; I think nerves are always a good thing. I think if I weren’t nervous before a game, then I think that my head wouldn’t be in the game.”

With the Galaxy receiving his documents on Wednesday, the 31-year-old Panamanian ‘keeper is now available to play for the Galaxy in MLS Regular Season action and in the CONCACAF Champions League. 

Against the Italian giants, Penedo performed well as he made a pair of saves and drew the praises of Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena.  However, the 45 minute second half shift was not without a few difficulties as the Spanish-speaking Penedo admitted to some difficulties communicating with his new teammates.

“I wanted to say a lot of things, but the words weren’t coming out correctly,” said Penedo. “It complicates things a little, but it’ll get easier as time goes on.”

Following the defeat to Milan, Arena admitted that the Galaxy had not yet chosen a starting goalkeeper for their game against FC Dallas on Sunday, but Penedo is not concerned with such matters just yet.

“I’m very happy. I think God that I can be here. I think that everything will end perfectly,” said Penedo. “I hope to work hard and contribute to the team, which is what I want most.”