CARSON, Calif. – Following a season of change at the goalkeeping position, the LA Galaxy believe that they have finally found their man in net for the foreseeable future.
The Galaxy acquired goalkeeper Dan Kennedy on Tuesday from FC Dallas in exchange for second and third round selections in the 2017 MLS SuperDraft. The move to the Galaxy is a homecoming for the 33-year-old Orange County native who attended UC Santa Barbara, and played seven years with former StubHub Center tenants Chivas USA.
Couldn't be more excited to be coming home and joining the @LAGalaxy, looking forward to the journey ahead. Lets Gooo!!!!!!— Dan Kennedy (@1DanKennedy) December 15, 2015
After the contraction of the Rojiblancos, Kennedy was selected by FC Dallas in the 2014 MLS Dispersal Draft, playing 16 games, going 7-5-4 while posting five shutouts for the Texas side. As the season wore on, Kennedy saw his playing time diminish due to injuries and the emergence of Homegrown goalkeeper Jesse Gonzalez, ultimately leading Kennedy to request a move from Dallas to his hometown club.
“I grew up on the LA Galaxy watching Kevin Hartman make big saves for the club. I watched them win championships as a kid and I watched them win championships playing against them,” Kennedy told LAGalaxy.com. “I’m very excited to come and hopefully add to that trophy cabinet with this club and move the team forward the best way that I can.”
Kennedy is a player that all Galaxy supporters are familiar with following his seven-year stint with Chivas USA. Amid all of Chivas’ struggles during his tenure with the club, Kennedy was often a lone bright spot, making timely saves that kept the struggling club competitive.
With the Rojiblancos no longer around, Kennedy doesn’t expect much awkwardness when he lines up for his old SuperClasico rivals.
“It will be a little strange and a little unique. It will still be a home field for me, just a different history to the organization. I won’t put too much thought into that. I’m just thinking about contributing. It’s really an exciting time for my family and me,” said Kennedy. “This is the position that we want to be put in as players. To be tested. I’m excited to hopefully gain that opportunity to be tested on the field with the guys. Obviously, there are stars and some really good MLS players on that squad. There’s no reason why we can’t challenge for some titles next year.”
Although Kennedy struggled for playing time down the home stretch in Dallas, Galaxy head coach and general manager Bruce Arena immediately turned to the veteran after declining to keep Donovan Ricketts following his disappointing half-season with the club. As a longtime admirer of Kennedy, Arena believes that the Fullerton-born goalkeeper is the man to bring stability to the position.
“Dan is a very experienced goalkeeper in Major League Soccer. Obviously, he’s somewhat of a local and he’s spent a number of years here with Chivas USA. I know Dan both on and off the field, and I think that he’s a good addition to our team,” Arena told LAGalaxy.com. “I’ve had an interest in Dan for a number of years, I actually tried to acquire him a couple of years ago but we weren’t able to do it, so we’re excited to have him back here. He’s a good shot-stopper and he’s got good feet which is something that we think is important.”
Expectations will be high from day one for Kennedy to help the Galaxy win a sixth MLS Cup title, but the veteran goalkeeper is excited about the challenge.
“It feels right. It feels like the right move, and I think I’m at a point in my career where I have a lot left. I’m motivated and excited to make the most of this opportunity. It does feel like a full circle,” Kennedy said. “I was in college before Chivas USA was around yet I was drafted by them. It was a club that was extremely loyal to me, but the Galaxy are a club that I grew up watching and thinking and envisioning playing for when I thought about playing professional soccer.
“This all comes full circle for me, but it’s just the beginning, and there’s a lot of work to be done and there’s a lot for me to prove.”