Jaime Penedo last played for the LA Galaxy on June 27th before joining the Panama national team for the first game of the CONCACAF Gold Cup on July 7th against Haiti. Little did we know that would be his last appearance in a Galaxy jersey before being put on waivers a month later on July 29th.
So what happened?
Speculation points to contract issues that has been an issue since the start of the season. He was left out of the first game of the season against the Chicago Fire due to a “coach’s decision.” From that point to the start of the Gold Cup, it was understood that he was not happy with the current contract negotiations but Penedo asking to be released from the team halfway through the season surprised everyone.
“It’s, obviously, probably a shock to everybody,” Galaxy captain Robbie Keane said. “But listen, he’s been great for the club, and I’d like to wish him well going forward. He’s been a credit to the team.”
“Jaime is, first of all, just a good person, one of the nicest guys I’ve ever met,” defender A.J. DeLaGarza said. “He had to make a decision for himself and his family, and you can’t fault someone for looking out for their family.”
Penedo posted a letter to fans on his Instagram account and some have pointed out that he left because he couldn’t get a multi-year deal with Arena and the Galaxy.
During an interview last week with Panamanian station TVMax, Penedo mentioned that retirement is an option and he will hold a press conference on August 15th to announce his decision, whether it is hanging his boots up for the last time or signing with another team. However, he did rule out a move to another MLS team citing that he was only offered one year non guaranteed contracts by the Galaxy which did not offer any stability for his future and family.
Penedo signed with LA on a free transfer on August 5th, 2013 after an impressive Gold Cup campaign where he led Panama to the final against the United States and earned the Gold Glove award (best goalkeeper of the tournament).
He has made 54 appearances for the team (25-12-17) and garnered 17 shutouts. He was crucial to the team’s 2014 MLS Cup campaign as he only gave up three goals in five games.