Although no deal has yet been agreed upon, and other teams are still interested, Gallese is available, having become a free agent after the most recent season. He was on loan from Liga MX side Veracruz to Alianza Lima in Peru. With Veracruz being disaffiliated recently, Gallese is free to sign with another team.
Per reports out of South America, Gallese, 29, has shown more interest in a move to MLS than in remaining with Alianza. Gallese has made 60 appearances with the Peruvian National Team since 2014. He appeared in 37 matches in all competitions with Alianza Lima in 2019 and has a good overall performance score of 6.76 from WhoScored.com. The native of Lima, Peru appeared in 51 games with Veracruz from 2016-2019. He previously played with Peruvian side Juan Aurich from 2014-2016, making 45 appearances. Prior to that, he played with Peruvian sides Atletico Minero and Universidad San Martin.
Orlando City has a need at goalkeeper after letting go of both Greg Ranjitsingh and Adam Grinwis following the 2019 season. Brian Rowe is the incumbent starter, but it stands to reason that Gallese would be brought in to at least compete to take away that position, although it’s doubtful Oscar Pareja will just hand it to him.
What it Means for Orlando City
Gallese is an experienced international goalkeeper with numerous caps. While Rowe was solid in Orlando’s net, the club needs to bring in a goalkeeper and Gallese is capable of taking the starting spot and potentially stealing some points here and there with a timely spectacular save. You’d expect that to be the case, since the club will need to spend an international slot on him. Although the numbers don’t show available slots to match the internationals that have been linked to Orlando, there are current Lions working on green cards and the club can also acquire more via trade. One way or another, those numbers will align by opening day.
Gallese has experience in big competitions, such as Copa Libertadores and Copa America. He’s athletic and has good lateral movement (his nickname is The Octopus), and at 29 he’s entering his prime years. These are all good qualities in a goalkeeper.
There are a couple of potential downsides of this signing. This will be a Copa America year, so Gallese (if signed) will presumably miss some time while playing in that tournament. Gallese has also had some very public personal drama in his marriage recently, although he and his wife have reportedly reconciled following reports of him being caught with another woman. A move stateside would alleviate some of the publicity about his personal life and this story says it would also be an economically advantageous offer to move to Orlando, although we have heard no reliable salary figures to date.
Gallese would be coming to a club that is familiar with Peruvian players, having formerly employed Yoshimar Yotún and Carlos Ascues. Neither of those players had much difficulty acclimating to MLS and Gallese has already played outside of his native Peru through his stint in Mexico, so that shouldn’t be a problem.
All in all, ‘The Octopus’ could be a good pickup for Orlando City in a position of need.