This tactical analysis will look at Pedro Gallese’s strengths from his first season to date with Orlando City. We will look at how he fits into Oscar Pareja’s tactics. This analysis will also look at how he compares with other MLS goalkeepers at sides that made it as far as the quarter finals of the MLS is Back tournament.
The Peruvian goalkeeper has started every game for Orlando City since his arrival from Alianza Lima in his native Peru. Gallese is also the first choice in the national team, and brings with him experience from a World Cup, a Copa America finalist, and experience in the Mexican league with Veracruz. Orlando have reached this final of the MLS is Back Tournament. Gallese brings a lot of experience to the improving Lions, along with former Manchester United winger Nani.
Gallese has performed well in his shot stopping throughout the tournament with a save percentage of 78.94%. This compares favourably amongst goalkeepers in the MLS. Only Andre Blake of Philadelphia Union was higher with 86.11%.
Orlando has defended well as a side throughout the tournament, with Gallese only facing an average of 2.84 shots per 90 minutes. This ranks 21st in the tournament, with leader Andre Blake facing 7.09 per 90 minutes.
At a height of 190cm, Gallese is of a similar size and style to Inter Milan goalkeeper, Samir Handanovic. He is able to use his considerable size to great effect in shot stopping. He is quick of off his line and positions himself well to narrow down the options for the striker. Below we can see the ball has been played through from midfield and the LAFC striker is through on goal. Gallese rushes out and directs his run based on where the striker will receive the ball.
As the striker arrives onto the ball, Gallese has narrowed down possible shooting angles. Making himself as big as possible, the striker has minimal view of the goal and Gallese continues to advance.
He keeps himself upright throughout and does not go to ground too early. When this happens, the attacker has the option to chip it over the goalkeeper. Gallese has taken that option away with his approach. The striker tries to find an space past Gallese into the corner but he is able to use his feet to block the shot. Orlando are able to clear the ball from this attack.
Along with positioning ability, the 30 year old has excellent reflexes. The following images show his ability to react after making a save to deal with a second attempt. Gallese is positioned well covering his posts and blocking a shot well.
After making the save, the ball returns to the attacker. Gallese hasn’t been able to divert the ball away further in this instance. Ultimately, allowing LAFC to continue their attack with another opportunity at goal.
The second shot is from a very tight angle, though Gallese is able to get back up quickly and divert the ball out for a corner.
Up to and including the quarter final, Gallese was expected to concede 5.19 goals. Orlando had only conceded four, giving him an xG +/- of 1.19. This shows Gallese over performed in these matches.
Pareja has his side play the ball out from the back. It is vital for his system to have a goalkeeper that is comfortable with the ball at his feet. Gallese has been very accurate with his passing from feet and hands throughout the tournament. Of 61 passes made, up to and including the quarter final, 55 were successful. Giving Gallese a completion rate of 90.16%
Gallese shows great composure under pressure with the ball at his feet. Below we see a pass back from the midfield to the goalkeeper.
Gallese is put under pressure from the attacker. On first look his short pass options are limited with the opponents pressing high.
He shapes to clear long and make the attacker commit to the challenge.
Instead of clearing long, he takes a touch out to his right.
Doing so, this offers him time to look at shorter passing options having removed one attacker from the play. He opens up 3 possible options of passes out to begin an attack.
Dealing with Crosses
Gallese often will remain close to his goal throughout play. His starting position from crosses from deep is often inside his own 6 yard box. As we can see below, he is very deep and there is a large area for the opposition to attack into. The Orlando defence are set quite high in comparison to Gallese.
In this instance the cross is too deep and Gallese is able to gather unchallenged. What he does show is his speed of thought to look to start a counter attack. He moves quickly with the ball to try to identify possible quick distribution options each time he receives the ball.
To emphasize his deep starting position, it can be seen he starts in the same position for crosses much higher up the pitch.
Gallese’s strengths lie in his shot stopping ability. As the cross comes in, he is unable to judge the flight of the ball. Fortunately for Orlando, the ball opposition attacker is unable to connect with the cross as well.
Along with his deep set position for crosses from deep, Gallese also does not look to leave his area when in possession. As can be seen below, his action in crosses comes very deep, all but one inside the six yard box. At 190cm tall, Gallese would expect to have a good advantage in dealing with aerial crosses.
Gallese sets himself in a position where he is most comfortable. Close to goal and ready to react quickly to attacks. There have been 0 passes made and 0 sweeping actions from Gallese in the MLS is Back Tournament outside of the box. All of his actions come within the penalty area. It is fair to say then that the Peruvian does not look to replicate the playing style of a sweeper keeper such as Bayern Munich‘s Manuel Neuer.
Gallese is the undisputed number 1 in the Peruvian national side and has been an excellent addition to Orlando. Ultimately, his shot stopping abilities are amongst the best in the league. His starting position is often good and he uses his body well to narrow down shooting angles.
This scout report has shown that Gallese is certainly one of the best goalkeepers in the MLS. With international pedigree and a well organised team, Orlando will look to keep on improving under Pareja.
His positioning and decision to remain close to goal are a weakness to his game. Oppositions can look to encourage the defensive line to be high. This will often provide an area to attack into behind the defence, knowing Gallese will look to stay deep in his penalty area more often than not.