In his third season with Orlando City, goalkeeper Pedro Gallese once again was an anchoring presence at the back and a formidable challenge for all comers. Since signing him back in January of 2020, he’s been the undisputed starter and has constantly played like it.
Let’s take a look at his 2022 season.
In the U.S. Open Cup, Gallese played in three games (all starts), logging 300 minutes — one of those matches included 30 minutes of extra time. He gave up two goals, while making nine saves on the 11 shots he faced for a save percentage of 83.3%, and recorded a clean sheet in the final. He also passed with 70.7% accuracy, and was given three yellow cards. The Lions were 2-0-1 in those three matches.
In league play, Emperor Pulpotine played in 32 of the team’s 34 matches (all starts), recording 2,880 minutes in the process. He allowed 47 goals and made 79 saves, recording a 62.7% save percentage while keeping a club-record nine clean sheets on the year. The club went 14-13-5 in his 32 starts and posted a 1.47 goals-against average. He was unable to stop any of the four penalty kicks he faced, and passed with 75.2% accuracy.
He also started and went the distance in OCSC’s playoff game in Montreal, allowing two goals, one of which came from the penalty spot, and recording no saves. He passed with 63.3% accuracy on the night.
He also won the MLS Save of the Year award for an absolutely incredible flying stop on former teammate Dom Dwyer in a 1-1 draw with Atlanta United back in July. Dwyer’s effort was curling towards the top corner and only an extended tentacle from the airborne Gallese kept it from winning the game for the hosts. Bask in its glory.
World class save from @pedrogallese to keep things level. #ATLvORL // Heineken #RivalryWeek pic.twitter.com/8lXmQ3R76L— Major League Soccer (@MLS) July 17, 2022
El Pulpo’s best game came in the 1-0 loss on the road to FC Cincinnati back in June. While the game didn’t end in Orlando’s favor, Gallese did everything he could to make sure that wasn’t the case. He made eight saves and if not for several particularly spectacular ones, the Lions might have lost by four or five. Nick Hagglund in particular was probably sick of seeing him after Gallese denied him for the second time just before the break.
Just absurd, @pedrogallese #DaleMiAmor pic.twitter.com/l6tARZawFj— Orlando City SC (@OrlandoCitySC) June 25, 2022
The Peruvian goalkeeper also completed two dribbles and passed with 85% accuracy during the game, doing everything he could to keep the Lions in it with a chance. In our player grades piece for the game he was given an 8 out of 10 and the Man of the Match award, and rightfully so.
2022 Final Grade
The Mane Land staff members were all in agreement on Pedro’s season, and his grade for the year is an 8, which is the same as he earned last year. While he conceded the most goals he has in a season, he also played 10 more games than his previous high, and recorded his most clean sheets as an Orlando City player, as well as setting a new high for saves and passing percentage as a Lion. His nine clean sheets were more than enough to break Joe Bendik’s record for the most in club history for one MLS campaign, so that’s another feather to put in his cap. He frequently made saves that kept Orlando City in games, and a number of the goals he conceded were more due to poor defending than poor goalkeeping. He remained a steady and reliable presence at the back, and while Orlando had questions at striker, winger, fullback, midfield, and center back at various points throughout the season, the goalkeeping position was never a cause for concern.
Pay the man. Stability and — dare I say — excellence at goalkeeper aren’t always easy things to come by, and the Lions have a man with proven quality in Gallese. As long as he doesn’t want a completely exorbitant amount of money, Orlando City should, and hopefully will, do everything it can to keep him wearing purple for the foreseeable future. If he does stay in Orlando, expect more stellar reaction saves, acrobatic heroics, and for him to be the starter as long as he’s healthy. Fingers crossed that he’s back again, but that’s more to do with Gallese and his agent at this point and whether there is a bidding war for his services. MLS is a salary cap league, so at some point the club does become handcuffed in how much it can give to its goalkeeper.
Previous Season in Review Articles (Date Posted)
- Jack Lynn (10/21/22)
- Joey DeZart (10/22/22)
- Nicholas Gioacchini (10/24/22)
- Thomas Williams (10/24/22)
- Michael Halliday (10/26/22)
- Tesho Akindele (10/28/22)
- Mason Stajduhar (10/29/22)
- Ivan Angulo (10/30/22)
- Jake Mulraney (10/31/22)
- Andrés Perea (11/1/22)
- Kyle Smith (11/2/22)
- Wilder Cartagena (11/3/22)
- Benji Michel (11/4/22)
- Alexandre Pato (11/5/22)
- Ruan (11/6/22)
- Rodrigo Schlegel (11/7/22)
- Cesar Araujo (11/8/22)
- Robin Jansson (11/9/22)
- Antonio Carlos (11/9/22)
- Junior Urso (11/10/22)