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Galaxy sign Panamanian goalkeeper Penedo

Panama v Mexico - 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup


Carlo Cudicini’s job may now be in jeopardy.

On Monday the Galaxy finally made the rumors official, signing Panamanian National Team goalkeeper Jaime Penedo as per the receipt of his International Transfer Certificate (ITC) and his P-1 Visa. Per league and team policy, details of the transfer were not disclosed.

The 31-year-old goalkeeper arrives from Municipal in Guatemala, where he made over 90 appearances in the last two seasons in the domestic campaign as well as the CONCACAF Champions League.

Penedo has also made 89 appearances in his career for Panama, including every game for Panama in the Gold Cup and June World Cup Qualifiers. He was also on the Panamanian team in 2005 when they reached the Gold Cup final. He was named the best goalkeeper in both the 2005 and 2013 Gold Cup tournaments.

Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena hasn’t been shy to criticize his current starting goalkeeper, Carlo Cudicini, for errors he has made this season, his first in MLS.

What do you make of this news? Do you see Penedo stepping into the starting role? Do you see Arena dropping Cudicini?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. I like Penedo as a goalkeeper, my only worry is if he can handle the physical nature of MLS, he isn’t the biggest GK ever. Some people will point to some of his time-wasting theatrics, but at the end of the day, that’s just a cultural aspect to the game (in as much as some people are really bothered by it and others think its all fair game between the lines).
    He’s a great shot stopper, and manages his box well (I’m assuming like alot of Panamanians he has a decent command of English), again, my only worry is that he doesn’t have the physical presence to deal with the crosses.
    If I was a MLS manager, I would definitely play a big bruising #9 with a steady diet of crosses and see how he handles it.

    • Thats a potential problem area for sure. However, even short keepers can do pretty well with crosses if they are athletic and read can read plays very well. Both Nick Rimando and Jon Busch are shorter than Penedo and have been exceptional starters in this league for many years due to their ability to read the game well and judge crosses. Not all short keepers pan-out well, but Penedo has good experience and should be an upgrade over Cudicini.

      My bigger worry with Penedo would be the language barrier. Comminication between the GK and the CBs is crucial. Very good, low risk signing though IMO.

  2. Zelaya is out of contract at the end of the Russian season. The end of the transfer season for Russia is still about 2 weeks later than the rest of Europe, so there’s still time. Expect a transfer fee though, if he transfers this summer. I expect most MLS teams will try to get him on a free transfer, which means that they won’t sign him til the fall.

    • He was with his Russian club on loan and that loan was only for 6 months which ended already. Alianza I believe has his rights but only for a few more months from what I believe him saying in an interview. He said if his team can’t reach an agreement for his transfer he would just sign as a free agent next January

      • Zelaya definitely is a skilled player. I wonder where his ambition lies though – will he continue to test the waters and try to be the most successful Salvadorean since “El Magico”, or will he try his luck in Liga MX or MLS.
        I hope he has a good agent though, I imagine it has to be hard for a Salvadorean to garner alot of offers since clubs outside of CONCACAF aren’t the most adventurous and tend to sign players from countries they deem as “proven”. Its obvious the player is very skilled and in the right setup could be very productive. On the outset though, he seems to the be the type of player that the team needs to play around and requires alot of touches.

  3. Great signing by the Galaxy. Penedo showed in the Gold Cup that he is a quality keeper.

    Still surprised that no one has signed Zelaya from El Salvador yet though.

    • Houston’s gm said that while he would indeed fit in at Houston and help them draw bigger crowd that some other team already has a discovery on him.I wish whomever out is they would either trade his rights to a team willing to sign him our just bring him on board already.

  4. fantastic news. Penedo is excellent. what an upgrade this is

    agree with what you all are saying about Cudicini unfortunately

  5. Thank you….this was always on the to do list….now lets get us a young winger, or play Villareal on the wing more often and SIT Robbie Rogers on the bench where he belongs….stop using 3 D-Mids or at least similar central mids in Stephens, Garcia and Mastroeni in your dressed 7 bench players…. Oh and Jimenez….despite his momentary goal or assist….needs to also stay off the starting line up…. come on Galaxy see what you can do about Zelaya whomever has his rights in MLS, TRADE for them…and market him well to see if he helps fill up the Stub Hub Center with the return of ES fans….Also starting Meyer or better yet Leonardo at CB and moving AJ to Right Back should start being done again to use Franklin at Right mid…for CCL at least

    • I agree with 85% of this. Villarreal doesn’t play enough defense to play either wing or in the midfield… Franklin is garbage in the midfield, his delivery into the final-third is atrocious. Franklin is a free agent at years end. Allowing him to walk to a Sweden club and signing Panamanian Roman Torres and pairing him with Omar while moving to AJDLG to right back is what we should do… With Seattle beefing up their offense, it’s important that the Galaxy have a shutdown defense… Agreed that the Galaxy should trade their first round pick to DC to get their claim on Zelaya off them.

  6. Cudicini has the judgment of a drunken frat boy on spring break. It’s a wonder he doesn’t escape games without a case of the clap. He shows up in more weird places than Zelig.

  7. Sad reality, Cudicini has disappointed. The irony is that at the Galaxy season ticket holder town hall meeting in March, Arena and Klein crowed most happily about how much they’d upgraded at that position. Wonder if they dream about Donovan Ricketts? By the same token, Arena and Klein also crowed most excitedly about the “enormous DP signing” that would happen no later than early May. How’d that work out? Galaxy front office not having an all-star year.

    Cudicini seems like a great guy. Enjoy becoming a goalkeeper coach.

    • Last year the Galaxy’s goals against average was a combined 1.38 (Saunders: 1.33) and Cudicini’s is 1.20 so it seems you could still argue that Cudicini has been an upgrade, but apparently not good enough. Unfortunately for Cudicini, his gaffes have been compounded by an offense that’s only spotting him 1.45 goals per game compared to an average of 1.74 last year.

      • And that average is skewed a little by that 5-0 shellacking the Revs put on him. Some of those goals he could’ve done better, but most of them were due to really poor defending and man marking.

        Cudicini hasn’t been terrible in goal, but I don’t think he’s the lights out keeper the Galaxy thought they were bringing on, either. Maybe some competition is what he needs.

        Whatever, Penedo seems like a good addition either way.

  8. I’ve yet to be impressed with Cudicini in any game I’ve watched him. He seems to shaky and to error prone then he yells at his back line. I hope this new goalkeeper works for them.

  9. Nice upgrade in keepers for the Galaxy. That was the main weak spot for our team. Great addition. Cudicini may finish out the season as part of the goal keeper staff.

  10. I think he’s a solid pick for the next 5 years but ultimately if Panama make it to the WC, we still need a decent back-up for next season. Rowe is serviceable for the ICC games that mean nothing.


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