LA Galaxy Sign Panama National Team ‘Keeper Jaime Penedo

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Penedo joins on a free transfer, having turned down interest in Europe and Mexico.

LA Galaxy have announced on Monday the signing of Panama national team goalkeeper Jaime Penedo on a free transfer from Guatemalan club Municipal.

The 31-year-old greatly impressed during his team’s Gold Cup run earlier in the summer. Penedo’s acrobatic feats helped steer his team into the final where they faced the USA in a close encounter. Panama went on to lose the game 1-0, but Penedo was one player of many able to hold his head up high after a fine performance.

Penedo was named Gold Cup Goalkeeper of the Tournament for the second time, the first coming in 2005 when he also won the silver medal for the first time.

“I was contracted in Guatemala for a long time,” Penedo said in an interview on the Galaxy’s official YouTube channel. “I had opportunities to go to other places but ended up staying there. I then became a free agent, then I got offers from teams in Mexico and Europe, but when I heard that the LA Galaxy was a possibility, I got really excited. That’s why I decided to come here.”

Even though the Galaxy now have four goalkeepers on their roster there’s a chance Penedo might be thrust into first-team action sooner than thought, as starter Carlo Cudicini is suffering from a minor back injury.

“He’s a good goalkeeper,” Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena said, “I followed him for years in Panama. He’s got a lot of experience, he probably has between 85 and 90 international caps. We think he’ll strengthen the goal position for us.”

Before joining the Galaxy, Penedo was at Guatemalan club Municipal, for whom he made a century of appearances, twice winning both the Apertura and Clausura with them. He also spent time in Italy and Spain with Cagliari and Osasuna, but was nothing more than a bit-part player for the two sides.

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