The LA Galaxy announced today that they've signed Panamanian goalkeeper Jaime Penedo on a free transfer and he will be added to the roster pending the receipt of his P1 Visa and his International Transfer Certificate. The thirty-one year old spent the last six seasons in Guatemala with Municipal (4 CONCACAF Champions League appearances) and was a standout leading Panama to the 2013 Gold Cup final.
With Municipal since 2007, they've won two Clausura titles and two Apertura titles with him in goal while he appeared in 150 games. He's also made 89 appearances with the Panamanian national team since making his international debut in 2003.
"He's a good goalkeeper. I followed him for years for Panama. He's got a lot of experience; he probably has between 85 and 90 international caps. We think that he'll help strengthen the goal position for us."
The signing of Laurent Courtois filled the Galaxy roster, so there will have to be a corresponding move to bring Penedo on. That is most likely the announcement of a season ending injury to Brian Perk, who has suffered from concussion syndromes. It could also mean there is deal with Carlo Cudicini on the horizon.
The Galaxy expect Penedo to be eligible to make his debut Wednesday in the final match of the Guinness International Champions Cup. The team is currently in Miami preparing for their third place match against AC Milan.
Inside Grant Wahl's great article on how MLS was able to sign Clint Dempsey (MLS paid his transfer fee) was this nugget about defender Omar Gonzalez:
Los Angeles is expected to announce soon that it has filled its maximum three DP slots with the extension of Omar González's contract.
Since David Beckham moved on, the Galaxy have been expected to announce the signing of a new designated player. Things have changed since Tim Leiweke moved on to Toronto, but it does seem like a bit of a letdown that there isn't going to be a splashy signing with the free DP slot.
The Retention Fund rule seems like it'd be exactly for players like Omar Gonzalez, but it appears it is intended for players at risk for leaving during a transfer window and not for expiring contracts. That puts the Galaxy in a position where they have to spend big to retain Gonzalez and still risk losing him in one of the upcoming transfer windows.
Wahl's article mentions Omar Gonzalez in the context of why the Galaxy did not sign Clint Dempsey. They were on the short list with Seattle and Toronto of where Dempsey was willing to go. Seattle's majority chairman had this to say about the shortlist:
"I think it was important that [Dempsey] ended up ... how do I say this politely? ... not in Los Angeles," said Roth. "Because from a perception standpoint it would make MLS look essentially like a one-team league when it came to important international players."
It's part of the reality of being an MLS fan, or a fan of any young league, that balance and stability are at times more important that individual success. As much as Galaxy fans would want to be the center of MLS' universe leaps and bounds ahead of every other club, in a decade's time they'd be the only MLS club left. Having as many teams as possible show they're willing to spend on LA's level means the Galaxy can break through their current restraints sooner.
MLS All Star Game
Sports Business Journal has some notes from the MLS All-Star Game, including the new Crew owner, the Wells Fargo deal, and some other bits. There's also an article on MLS setting up for TV contract talks, but it's behind a paywall. Just worth keeping in mind that all the TV contracts are up after the 2014 season.