Two weeks, two penalties awarded to Chivas USA, and two botched attempts, leading to two lost points. As I noted in the match report following each of the Goats' last two games, PKs aren't automatic, and sometimes good goalkeeping or bad form means they don't go in. Still, it is concerning that this has happened two weeks in a row, with points on the line.
So, Jose Correa's had his chance, and now so has Edgar Mejia. As far as I'm aware, only Juan Agudelo and Correa have ever scored a PK in MLS play, and they each have just one to their credit. If Agudelo is playing, he'll almost certainly take it, but behind him, the options look thin.
Allow me to nominate a few players who I think should get the chance next time, if Agudelo is out of the lineup. Vote on your selection below, and feel free to explain your pick in the comment section below!
Laurent Courtois: If the Frenchman is on the field, he should probably get next dibs. He's never been a prolific scorer, and I doubt he's ever been a designated penalty taker, but his experience and ability to hit shots hard and in different parts of the goal make him perhaps the best of the bunch. Plus, he's spent more time in MLS now than most of his teammates, so he'll have a good sense of how goalkeepers react.
Miller Bolanos: Of course, when Bolaños returns to the field and is in good form (let's hope that glorious day is nearly upon us), he should get a crack at it. He's not afraid to shoot, he looks like he's liable to have a breakout season, if only he can get healthy, and getting a penalty to start the scoring off properly could really grease the skids for an onslaught of goals. Plus, there's a solid chance he'll earn said penalty himself, so this could be a good reward for his efforts.
Jorge Villafana: Ok, this one is a little out of left field, but here's what I'm thinking: Sueño is the reigning veteran of this team, and while I have no idea if he could be decent at taking PKs, having a steady presence of someone who doesn't score much but who is frequently involved in the attack could help Villafaña and this team. I think one of the biggest shortcomings of his game is that he is trigger-shy, so if he can get some confidence as "the man" when it comes to PKs, maybe that can help him gain confidence during the run of play as well. Why not?
Dan Kennedy: Ok, here's the really out there suggestion. Many teams appoint their captain to take penalties, and DK is the captain, so...it could be something to try. And frankly, there are goalkeepers, mostly in South America, who take penalties, so he wouldn't be completely revolutionary in this regard. Plus, we frequently talk about how his teammates mess up Kennedy's good performances, including when they don't score, and so with this option, we could cut out the middleman. Kennedy could go from being one of the very best goalkeepers in the league, to being an indispensable player and legend of MLS. C'mon, you're starting to come around, aren't you?
What do you think? Leave a comment below!