US national team, World Cup player profile: Omar Gonzalez
A fixture in the LA Galaxy back line the 25-year-old central defender has enjoyed plenty of consistency throughout both his club and international career.
Playing college ball at the University of Maryland, Gonzalez was drafted by the Galaxy third overall in 2009 and hasn’t moved since, save for a short loan spell at Nurnberg in 2012 where he promptly tore his ACL in his first training session.
Gonzalez would come back stronger following his injury, winning Man of the Match honors in the 2012 MLS Cup final, an award he would add to the Defender of the Year honor he’d already collected in 2011.
All of this domestic success has led to a relatively secure starting spot in the USMNT back line since his international debut in 2010, becoming cap tied in 2013 during qualification and now sitting on 19 caps to his name over the four years.
However, that is all about to change. With the emergence of Matt Besler domestically and Geoff Cameron abroad, it would seem Gonzalez is the odd man out. He’ll no doubt see time in the World Cup setting that will feature quick turnarounds paired with sweltering conditions, but he may not be in as many starting lineups as he’s used to.
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Full name: Omar Gonzalez
Hometown: Dallas, Texas
Position: Central defender
Club: LA Galaxy
Best moment in a US shirt: With Gonzalez as such a hot-and-cold player as he is, he’s had a number of high-quality moments. One that stands out for sure is the 0-0 draw with Mexico at Azteca last August, where Gonzalez was far and away the best US player on the pitch. It’s also not the only time Gonzalez played well against his other nationality. The 25-year-old was stellar in the most recent episode of “Dos A Cero” last August, holding the lackluster Mexican attack at bay alongside Clarence Goodson.
Starter or squad player at World Cup: While it appears that for now Gonzalez has been trumped by the duo of Besler and Cameron, he very well may get a start or two depending on a number of factors, including the performance of the aforementioned pair as well as their fitness in the Brazilian heat and multiple fixture environment. Either way, Gonzalez will be a very important piece of the USMNT puzzle in Brazil, and he will see plenty of time on the pitch.