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Omar Gonzalez: Silver lining in MLS Champions League run

2012 MLS Cup - Los Angeles Galaxy Training Session

CARSON, CA - NOVEMBER 30: Omar Gonzalez #4 of the Los Angeles Galaxy looks on during the Los Angeles Galaxy training session at The Home Depot Center on November 30, 2012 in Carson, California. (Photo by Victor Decolongon/Getty Images)

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Perhaps there was little surprise in Wednesday’s big performance from Galaxy center back Omar Gonzalez.

He has lots of family in Monterrey, about 50 of whom showed up to see his hardy night inside the Tecnológico. Gonzalez also had a little atonement in mind after not looking his best on Monterrey’s second goal in last week’s 2-1 Galaxy loss at the Home Depot Center.

Besides, he’s Omar Gonzalez! He has clearly achieved “next big thing” status, so we should expect such dominance.

The big man was excellent over 90 minutes Wednesday, as the Galaxy’s 1-0 loss eliminated the last Major League Soccer team from CONCACAF Champions League play.

Gonzalez wasn’t just a defensive giant, clearing, intercepting, the practitioner of astute positioning, etc., he very nearly provided a valuable goal. This piece from LA Galaxy Confidential describes the sequence.

What fellow U.S. international Landon Donovan of his center back: “I thought Omar was fantastic, and that’s what we needed from him and unfortunately, we didn’t do our job on the other end of the field. But I thought he was great.”

Bruce Arena also complimented Gonzalez’s performance, referring back to last week’s learning experience.

Gonzalez will surely get another nice family reception Saturday; the Galaxy makes a relatively short trip north of Monterrey to face FC Dallas on Saturday. That match is on NBC Sports Network.

(MORE: Omar Gonzalez should be the next Galaxy DP)