USA Soccer World Cup Profile: Defender Omar Gonzalez
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Omar Gonzalez is a center defender that is currently playing for the Los Angeles Galaxy and the United States Men’s National Team.
World Cup Experience
Defender Omar Gonzalez will be playing his first World Cup this summer in Brazil. He is part of the rebuilding defense that the US started working on with new German coach Jurgen Klinsmann. However, he does have international experience as a very young player when he played at the FIFA Under-17 World Cup in Peru back in 2005. He also played in the Pan-Am Games for the Men’s Under-18 in 2007 in which he scored twice in a US 4-2 loss to Bolivia.
Omar Gonzalez has only played for the LA Galaxy professionally. He has been with the Angeleno team since 2009 when he was drafted in the MLS SuperDraft, 3rd overall. Gonzalez was also a starter right away for the Galaxy. In that year, he was named the MLS Rookie of the Year for being part of a defense that helped the Galaxy go from last place in 2008 to reaching the MLS Cup Finals in 2009. Unfortunately, the Galaxy lost to the Real Salt Lake in 2009 on penalty kicks.
Gonzalez was named as an All-Star defender the following year, 2010. He was part of the two consecutive MLS championships that the Galaxy won in 2011 and 2012 along with English star David Beckham.
Gonzalez was loaned to German club team FC Nuremberg in January of 2012 for just a little over a month. It was unfortunate for him that he was brought back right away due to a knee injury he sustained during practice with Nuremberg. Gonzalez started playing in July of 2012 and was the man of the match for the 2012 MLS Final against Houston Dynamo due to his header that tied the game at 1-1. The Galaxy went on to win the final 3-1 against Houston which was a rematch of the 2011 MLS Final.
Omar Gonzalez has been very successful with the LA Galaxy in the MLS. However, it’s been reported that he still needs to find his form with the USMNT. In recent friendly matches, Gonzalez has not been the starter even though he was picked by coach Klinsmann to be a key player of the US defense. Despite the negative reports about him, Omar Gonzalez keeps a positive attitude about his and the US squad’s performance at the World Cup. He was asked about going head to head with Portuguese striker Cristiano Ronaldo, and he said that he thinks he will be able to stop him. He added that it will be hard work, but insinuated that it can be done.
J.L. Herrera is a huge fan of football and has been following the Raiders since the 1980s during the LA era. J.L. is also a freelance writer and copywriter on the web. He taught English for a little more than a decade in Los Angeles at the secondary level. While writing for web based news outlets, J.L. enjoys reading, creative writing, and watching sports. His work can be found on Examiner.com.