Pedro Gallese Isn't One of the Elite Goalkeepers in MLS, at Least on Paper
Peruvian #1 and Orlando City net minder Pedro Gallese is one of the best at his position in all of MLS and arguably in the entire western hemisphere. Time and time again, El Pulpo pulls of ridiculous saves and flashes hints of elite distribution.
But looking into the numbers, is Gallese actually that good?
The most important stat for a goalkeeper is post-shot expected goals difference. This measures how many shots you were "supposed" to save, basically it's a measure of how many goals the goalkeeper prevented above average. Despite Gallese's profile, his PSxG difference is far from stellar.
Through seven games this season, Gallese actually has a negative PGxG difference of -0.7, according to FBref. This is average and probably a bit below average across MLS. Gallese is at the top of the league for clean sheets, tied with Chicago's Gaga Slonina, but clean sheets aren't a goalkeeper stat and shouldn't be considered one. Gallese also has a 72.7% save rate, a fine number, but very average.
This isn't an aberration from the norm for El Pulpo, across his three MLS seasons, his best PSxG difference was +0.9 and his best save rate is 73.2% in his first season. These aren't elite numbers by any means, and to compare him to Matt Turner or Andre Blake is laughable based on actual, tangible production.
Gallese is still a valuable piece and a good goalkeeper. He rarely makes errors and provides a lot of valuable experience in defense. He's a needed leader and incredibly cool under pressure. In any given game, he can become a brick wall, even if his actual stats over the course of an entire season are a bit underwhelming.
Orlando, as of now, don't have a goalkeeper problem and the defense is elite. But let's not fool ourselves into thinking Orlando has one of the best goalkeeper rooms in the league.