SAN FRANCISCO— Omar Gonzalez will look to make his case to be one of the two starting center backs for the U.S. National Team at the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Tuesday’s friendly against Azerbaijan at Candlestick Park.
Gonzalez has returned to training with the U.S. after suffering a knee injury against the Colorado Rapids in May, and was named to the 23-man squad for Brazil last Thursday. Whether or not he’ll start for the Americans is a point of contention, however, as he’ll face stiff competition from Geoff Cameron and John Anthony Brooks for his spot alongside Matt Besler in the USMNT backline.
As part of the continuing World Cup coverage on LAGalaxy.com, I’ll be covering Tuesday’s friendly from San Francisco and will provide reaction from Gonzalez following the match.
Do you believe that Gonzalez will get on the field against Azerbaijan?
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There's a new boss with Manchester United.
On Monday, the Red Devils announced that Netherlands National Team head coach Louis van Gaal has signed a three-year contract to serve as the new manager at Manchester. The current Dutch head coach has enjoyed a decorated managerial career with stints at Ajax -- where he won the UEFA Champions League --, FC Barcelona, Az Alkmar, and Bayern Munich. The 62-year-old van Gaal will take the position after the 2014 FIFA World Cup, which means that he'll make his first appearance on the United touchline during their July 23 match against the LA Galaxy at the Rose Bowl.
The Dutchman's number two in Manchester will be United legend Ryan Giggs who retired from football in a separate announcement. The Welsh star calls time on a 14-year career that has seen the United regular win 13 titles for the Red Devils. Giggs served as United interim manager at the end of the 2013/14 season after the firing of former manager David Moyes.
Three players with LA Galaxy connections have been named to the upcoming U.S. National Team Under-21 training camp that will take place at StubHub Center from April 20-24.
LA Galaxy Homegrown Players Jack McBean, Oscar Sorto and Jose Villarreal were named to the squad by U-21 head coach Tab Ramos. The U-21 squad was designed to serve as bridge between the U.S. U-20 squad and the U-23 group that will look to qualify for the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. The camp will end with a friendly against Club Tijuana on Wednesday.
Both McBean and Sorto who are on loan with Galaxy II will join the camp after competing with LA’s U-18 squad at the Dallas Cup while Villarreal is currently on loan with Liga MX side Cruz Azul but has been assigned to their second division affiliate Cruz Azul Hidalgo for the duration of the 2014 Clausura tournament.
“We’re excited to bring some of our best young players together for this initial U-21 camp,” said Ramos in a statement by U.S. Soccer. “We’re hoping that we can have another two or three camps between now and the end of the year. This camp is purely to have the team together so that we begin moving in the right direction. When the time is right, we can put a group that has kept playing together and is familiar with each other in front of the permanent coach.”
The entire camp roster is below.
GOALKEEPERS (2): Jonathan Kempin (Oklahoma City Energy; Leawood, Kan.), Kendall McIntosh (Santa Clara; Santa Rosa, Calif.)
DEFENDERS (5): Christian Dean (Vancouver Whitecaps; East Palo Alto, Calif.), Juan Pablo Ocegueda (Tigres UANL; Riverside, Calif.), Shane O’Neill (Colorado Rapids; Boulder, Colo.), Dillon Serna (Colorado Rapids; Brighton, Colo.), Oscar Sorto (LA Galaxy; Los Angeles, Calif.)
MIDFIELDERS (7): Luis Gil (Real Salt Lake; Garden Grove, Calif.), Alejandro Guido (Club Tijuana; Chula Vista, Calif.), Marlon Hairston (Colorado Rapids; Jackson, Miss.), Benji Joya (Chicago Fire; San Jose, Calif.), Collin Martin (D.C. United; Chevy Chase, Md.), Esteban Rodriguez (Club Tijuana; Bell Gardens, Calif.), Wil Trapp (Columbus Crew; Gahanna, Ohio)
FORWARDS (7): Daniel Cuevas (CF Lobos BUAP; Sacramento, Calif.), Danny Garcia (FC Dallas; Dallas, Texas), Jack McBean (LA Galaxy; Newport Beach, Calif.), Jordan Morris (Stanford; Mercer Island, Wash.), Sean Okoli (Seattle Sounders FC; Federal Way, Wash.), Victor Pineda (Chicago Fire; Bolingbrook, Ill.), Jose Villarreal (Cruz Azul; Inglewood, Calif.)
Manchester United's European Cup dreams ended in Munich on Wednesday with a 3-1 defeat to FC Bayern Munich to fall 4-2 on aggregate in their UEFA Champions League Quarterfinal series.
United looked to be in the driver seat in the second half when Patrice Evra fired in an impressive goal, but 76 seconds later their hopes started to crumble as Mario Mandzukic exploited a defensive error to equalize.
Less than 10 minutes later, Bayern started to pull away as Thomas Muller found the back of the net. Arjen Robben would score off a deflection in the 76th minute to put the match out of reach for United.
United will now return to English Premier League play as they take on Everton on April 20th at Goodison Park. The Red Devils will take on the LA Galaxy on July 23 at the Rose Bowl.
The LA Galaxy will take on Manchester United this July in what will be the English Premier League side's first visit to Southern California since 2003.
The last time that Manchester United traveled to Los Angeles, United defeated Liga MX giants Club America at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum with two goals from Uruguayan star Diego Forlan and a single tally from Dutch legend Ruud van Nistelrooy.
Check out the highlights of that match and relive some great commentary by Allen Hopkins below.
GLENDALE, Ariz. -- The matches between the United States and Mexico does not need attention, but Wednesday's match will get significant publicity as it may be the U.S. debut of Bayern Munich wunderkind Julian Green.
The addition of Green -- a former hockey star -- to the USMNT fold has been a hot button issue in the American soccer circles prompting considerable hype of a player that SB Nation's Ryan Rosenblatt labels "the best prospect that the USA has ever had." Prior to the match, Green did not speak to the media, but U.S. captain Clint Dempsey and head coach Jurgen Klinsmann each said that he has acclimated well to the team ahead of the Mexico match.
Ahead of the Mexico match, Green spoke to the federation's website about switching to the United States.
LA Galaxy center back Omar Gonzalez was profiled by USA Today as a representative of "New America" ahead of the U.S. match against Mexico on Wednesday.
LAGalaxy.com has created a "By The Numbers" graphic ahead of the U.S. National Team's match against Mexico on Wednesday.
Myself and the rest of the LAGalaxy.com will be providing coverage throughout the match live from Arizona.
Check out the graphic below.
Omar Gonzalez did not make the trip with the U.S. National Team for their match against the Ukraine, but the LA Galaxy center back may have solidified his starting spot at the World Cup due to the USMNT's lackluster defensive performance in a 2-0 loss to the Eastern European nation.
Andriy Yarmolenko put the Ukrainians up 12 minutes into the match before the Marko Devic sealed the victory for the Eastern Europeans with a finish in the 67th minute. Both goals featured defensive breakdowns in the build-up that aided the Ukrainians. Club Tijuana left back Edgar Castillo started and went 63 minutes in the defeat.
The match was played in Cyprus due to political turmoil in Ukraine. Jurgen Klinsmann's squad returns to action on April 2 when they take on CONCACAF arch rival Mexico in Glendale, Ariz.