A Rich History
Historically speaking, the Los Angeles Galaxy are known for its powerful midfielders, but they have had their fair share of strong goalkeepers as well. Some of the most notable faces for the Galaxy include Kevin Hartman, Donovan Ricketts, and Jaime Penedo.
“El Gato” Kevin Hartman was with the Galaxy from 1997-2006 and won various awards with the team including MLS goalkeeper of the year, two US Open Cups, and two MLS Cups. Hartman shattered and set many records in the MLS. Currently, he continues to contribute to the growth of the Galaxy as the director of the LA Galaxy Girl’s Academy.
Ricketts continued the goalie legacy set my Hartman and was named goalkeeper of the year in 2010.
Pinedo was never goalkeeper of the year, but many may remember the Panamanian for his agile performance with the LA Galaxy. In 2014, he finished 4th overall as an MLS goalkeeper and helped the Galaxy win the MLS Cup. Many remember Penedo for his ability to fly across the net, thus dubbing him the name “Superman.”
Saves, Saves, and More Saves!
With all of the rich history the Galaxy has, their players have big shoes to fill. It’s no wonder the goalkeepers after Penedo didn’t always live up to expectations. California native David Bingham is more in line with what fans expect from their goalkeeper. In the last two games against Orlando City and Sporting Kansas City, Bingham had 5 to 6 saves each game. He has 5 shut outs in 15 games played so far and he has saved some wicked penalties.
His penalty blocks started early on in the season. The LA Galaxy hosted a preseason scrimmage against the Japanese team Vissel Kobe and beat them 4-1. Though the game was an exhibition game, Vissel Kobe was led by superstars Andres Iniesta, David Villa, and Luka Podolski who are skilled in attacking. David Bingham blocked Iniesta’s penalty kick and then blocked a rebound attack.
That was not an isolated incident; in April against the Vancouver Whitecaps, Bingham saved an attempted panenka by Ali Adnan. Bingham went on to block another penalty against Orlando City SC. Luis Carlos Almeida da Cunha, best known at Nani, was awarded a penalty kick in the 72nd minute of play. Bingham dove left and blocked Nani’s penalty kick. The save was significant because it allowed the Galaxy to win 1-0.
David Bingham and the Quakes
Bingham has always performed well. In 2016, he was named an MLS All-Star while playing for the San Jose Earthquakes, who he played with for most of his MLS career. The Galaxy’s fierce rivalry with San Jose added to the sweet acquisition of Bingham who was partially benched for his last season with the Quakes. Players are constantly traded or transferred in soccer, but when they go to a rival team it provides extra intensity and emotions during matches.
Some remember the emotion stirred up when Landon Donovan left the Quakes for Los Angeles and although Bingham’s trade was a different situation, it contributed to the heated California Classico. The Galaxy are set to face the Quakes at Avaya Stadium on Saturday, June 29th at 7 PM and at home on Friday, July 12th at 8 PM PST. So how will Bingham fare this season against his previous team? If he can block a penalty kick from both Iniesta and Nani in the same season, he can do anything.