VANCOUVER, B.C. – Jaime Penedo made a highlight-reel save to help preserve a 1-0 LA Galaxy victory over Vancouver Whitecaps FC, but the Panamanian refuses to rest on his laurels and declare the starting ‘keeper job his.
Penedo has started LA’s last three matches in all competitions while accumulating a 3-0-0 record. After being tested sparingly in the matches against Real Salt Lake and C.S. Cartaginés, he earned his stripes in the victory over Vancouver.
Throughout the match, he controlled the penalty area by repeatedly coming off his line to head away dangerous chances for Vancouver. But where he truly shined was his ability to make timely saves to keep LA ahead of a hard-charging Whitecaps side. Penedo made five saves on the evening, but his finest came in the 82nd minute with his acrobatic reaction stop of a close-range shot by Jordan Harvey attempt.
Despite his performance, Penedo rejects the idea that he is the Galaxy’s new starting ‘keeper.
“Absolutely not, absolutely not. I'm not saying I'm the No. 1,” Penedo told media after the win. “There are four goalkeepers that are working hard, and I have to work hard and learn. That's what I have to do.”
As he continues to settle into in MLS, he has been aided by LA’s center back tandem of Omar Gonzalez and Leonardo, who are both able to speak to the monolingual Penedo in his native Spanish tongue.
“Very much,” Penedo answered when asked about Gonzalez and Leonardo’s role in his acclimation. “The fact they speak Spanish, and they’re both good central defenders helps a lot.”