WASHINGTON – Trips to the White House still offer a player as established as LA Galaxy and U.S. National Team defender Omar Gonzalez the chance to feel the same type of joy that he felt when he strapped on his cleats as a kid in Texas.
Gonzalez had a little fun at the expense of a White House intruder of the same name on social media, but when he addressed the media, the 26-year-old defender was in awe of his great fortune to be honored by President Barack Obama for a second time.
“It’s been an amazing experience,” said Gonzalez. “Never did I imagine that I’d be here at the White House so many times for winning championships. It’s something that you don’t even think about it because when you’re young you only want to become a professional athlete. To be a pro athlete and then come to an organization where you have the chance to accomplish such great things, it’s incredible.
“Last year was an incredible year for all of us with all the storylines that were there and this is the culmination of all the hard work. It’s simply a great experience.”
Jurgen Klinsmann says injury the reason that LA Galaxy defender Omar Gonzalez omitted from USMNT January camp roster
Oscar Sorto and Gyasi Zardes will be the LA Galaxy's representatives at the U.S. National Team's annual January camp, but there was one notable omission: USMNT defensive mainstay Omar Gonzalez.
Although there was some initial worry from the Twitterverse about why Gonzalez had been dropped, U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann told U.S. Soccer's official website that a nagging injury prevented the LA Galaxy defender from being included in the squad.
"When you put together the roster for January Camp, you eventually talk to the players, you talk to their club coaches and everyone is in a bit of a different situation," Klinsmann said. "The season here has a different schedule than overseas or in Mexico, and here and there you run into issues with players that you think it’s better if they maybe keep on curing some injuries, like in the case of Omar Gonzalez or Graham Zusi. They are not fully fit yet, so we decided to say ‘take it easy going into pre-season of your club team’."
UPDATE: Fox Soccer's Alexi Lalas provided an update on Gonzalez via Twitter saying that he is undergoing "proactive knee maintenance"
— Alexi Lalas (@AlexiLalas) January 9, 2015
Gonzalez enjoyed a strong year for the U.S. in 2014 as he appeared in his first FIFA World Cup while also making eight appearances for Klinsmann's side.
CARSON, Calif. -- The LA Galaxy had three players named to MLS Best XI, the league announced on Tuesday during MLS commissioner Don Garber's State of the League address.
Galaxy stalwarts Landon Donovan, Omar Gonzalez and Robbie Keane were named to the league's Best XI on Tuesday after banner seasons for an LA squad that finished with finished with the league's second best record. The selection is an MLS record seventh for Donovan while Gonzalez was named to the Best XI for a foruth time while Keane earned his third selection in a row.
The trio’s inclusion marks the first time that the three Galaxy Designated Players have all been named to the MLS Best XI in the same season.
LA Galaxy center back Omar Gonzalez finished third in the 2014 MLS Defender of the Year voting as Seattle Sounders FC center back Chad Marshall took home the top honors.
Marshall finished ahead of D.C. United central defender Bobby Boswell who led both the media and club voting, but the Sounders defender's advantage in the player voting were enough to give him the Defender of the Year. The award is an unprecedented third for Marshall who won the honor twice in 2008 and 2009 while with the Columbus Crew.
Gonzalez was nominated for the league's top honor despite A.J. DeLaGarza winning the team's honor which is voted on by local media.
CARSON, Calif. –The LA Galaxy endured a physical battle in their 1-0 victory over Seattle Sounders FC and when the two teams kick off again next Sunday, a similar game is expected.
In their 1-0 win over Seattle, both teams were prone to heavy challenges as the game ended with a total of 25 fouls being called by referee Mark Stott as well as five yellow cards. During the second leg up at CenturyLink Field, another physical match is anticipated, especially after both teams combined for 40 fouls and six yellow cards.
Galaxy central defender Omar Gonzalez, who admitted after the Seattle victory that he “kept his distance” from Sounders players due to his fear of being issued a second yellow, revealed that he’ll be more aggressive in the second leg in Seattle.
“Next week, that second yellow card doesn’t matter,” Gonzalez said. “I’m able to be more aggressive and I’m able to get up on guys a lot tighter so it’ll be fun.
“It’s going to be more aggressive and there might be worse fouls because of the field and how fast it moves,” he added. “Overall, players have to be smart and no one wants to get sent off.”
Marcelo Sarvas, who remains an injury question mark for the game, noted that Seattle’s physicality might end up hurting the Supporters’ Shield winners this weekend.
“I didn’t see their team play a game this year when they had to push and score a goal,” Sarvas. “In my opinion, they play very conservative. They keep two guys higher all the time and everyone behind the box so we’ll see what the situation is going to be there [on Sunday].”
LA Galaxy defender Omar Gonzalez says referee Kevin Stott kept players on the field with an eye to the second leg
CARSON, Calif. – There were hard challenges aplenty on both sides during the LA Galaxy’s 1-0 victory over Seattle Sounders FC, but the home side believed that Seattle were fortunate to end the match with 11 men.
LA’s ire was focused on Seattle center back Zach Scott who was given a yellow card by head referee Kevin Stott in the 37th minute but did not see a second caution—and subsequent expulsion—despite three additional challenges later. But it was Scott’s foul on Alan Gordon in the dying moments that drew the most criticism thanks to a conversation that Omar Gonzalez alleged post game.
“It’s tough when Stott says to one of your players that he’s not going to give a player another yellow because he wants the best players to play in the next game,” Gonzalez said. “I think it’s not his job to focus on the next game. It’s his job to focus on the game tonight, the game in hand. For him to say that to one of our players is pretty ridiculous, but like I said in a past interview, I’m not thinking about that issue anymore. It’s out of my control; it’s out of our control. They’re going to do what they want. It’s our job to get the job done with our play.”
Neither Gordon nor Stott spoke after the match, but when Scott and Seattle head coach Sigi Schmid had their own thoughts on the official’s allowance of the physical play.
“I don’t know how else to play to be honest with you. A lot of times I tell that line, and today was especially frustrating considering the way the ref called the game,” the Sounders center back said. “But that is just something that I’ve just got to deal with as a player and move on. It’s fine now going into the next leg, another card isn’t going to keep me out of the final.”
Added Schmid, “I think we benefit a little there. I think in most games, the referee would have pulled that second yellow so I’m not going to pretend I didn’t see that or argue about that. But there were also other calls that I don’t understand. I don’t understand how it’s not a foul when [Brad] Evans gets kicked early in the first half. He’s not the kind of guy to lay on the ground and dive, so if he is down he got hit. I think one time Omar [Gonzalez] was screening the ball and he just waited for a little touch and then he fell over like who knows what and all of a sudden it’s a foul. I thought, ‘are you kidding me?’. So a couple plays there, but we were fortunate that Zach [Scott] stayed on the field.”
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Omar Gonzalez among three LA Galaxy players on yellow card watch heading into Seattle Sounders FC match
CARSON, Calif. – The LA Galaxy are heading into their Western Conference Championship series with Seattle Sounders FC with a boatload of confidence after the way that they dispatched Real Salt Lake, but three players will need to be cautious heading into the first leg.
Landon Donovan, Robbie Rogers, and Omar Gonzalez are both on yellow card watch heading into Sunday’s first leg. Should either of the three earn a caution from referee Kevin Stott, they will miss out on next week’s second leg at CenturyLink Field. It bears mentioning, however, that no player can be suspended for MLS Cup based on yellow card accumulation.
While Donovan and Rogers are at risk, Gonzalez faces a particular challenge as he looks to avoid a yellow card and mark dynamic strikers Obafemi Martins and Clint Dempsey.
“I have to be very smart with how I defend and how aggressive I am,” said Gonzalez. “But having said that, I have to leave it all on the field and not worry about the referees or about anything out of my control. I have to worry about how I show up, how I approach the game and how focused I am over 90 minutes."
The LA Galaxy have long been one of the banner clubs in MLS and it’s no surprise that they were well-represented in MLSsoccer.com’s All-Time Playoff XI.
The league’s website released their list on Monday with the Conference Championships starting later this week. Landon Donovan (LA Galaxy MLS Cup champion in 2005, 2011, 2012) leads the charge for the Galaxy contingent which includes Chris Armas (LA Galaxy MLS Cup finalist in 1996), Todd Dunivant (LA Galaxy MLS Cup champion in 2005, 2011, 2012), and Brian Mullan (LA Galaxy MLS Cup champion in 2002).
Included in the list of honorable mentions are LA legends Mauricio Cienfuegos, Kevin Hartman and Cobi Jones as well as Galaxy MLS Cup winners Robbie Keane, Omar Gonzalez and Ned Grabavoy.
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CARSON, Calif. –Real Salt Lake’s speedy diminutive striker Joao Plata gave the LA Galaxy fits during their Western Conference Semifinal first leg, but once the second leg rolls around on Sunday, LA are confident that they can shut down the Ecuadorian.
Plata was the main conduit in the Salt Lake attack during Saturday’s first leg at Rio Tinto Stadium as he repeatedly stretched the Galaxy back four while notching a pair of shots on frame. The Ecuadorian, who notched 13 goals and six assists during the regular season, also had a pair of goals negated by offside calls including one which was shown to be onside according to television replays.
After tussling with Plata over the course of 90 minutes, Galaxy center back Omar Gonzalez says that he’s ready for a challenge on Sunday.
“Plata’s a special player. He’s small and he’s always in my blind side. He’s quick. We just have to be aware of where he’s at. Don’t let him start sprinting freely. Give him a little bump but not too much because the slightest touch can tip him over," said Gonzalez. “Last game the referee (Silviu Petrescu) told me, ‘You’re just so much bigger than him. What do you want me to do?’ When I hear the ref tell me that it’s kind of difficult to do my job.”
But how does Gonzalez plan to account for Plata -- and the officials -- in a match where one goal by Salt Lake could see the Galaxy's season end prematurely?
"I'm just going to do my job," he said. "I can't worry about the referee and our whole team is over being worried about the referees. We're going to worry about approaching the game with the right mindset. We know that it'll be a challenge against Real Salt Lake for 90 minutes plus and we have to be ready for them."
Bruce Arena leaving Omar Gonzalez's status for FC Dallas match up to U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann
CARSON, Calif. – Landon Donovan is scheduled to be back in the fold for the LA Galaxy after appearing in Friday’s U.S. National Team match against Ecuador, but could Omar Gonzalez also be back in the lineup for the FC Dallas match?
According to Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena, the final decision will be left to U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann on whether or not Gonzalez will rejoin the Galaxy or stay with the U.S. for their Oct. 14 friendly against Honduras in Florida.
“The decision will be made by the coach and what he thinks is in the best interest of his team and everything that he needs to do,” said Arena. “This is not an easy situation for a national team coach when he can’t rely on the domestic players because of the league. It’s not easy on anyone so he doesn’t need to be bugged by me during the week. It’s an awkward situation for everyone.
“It’s difficult on a national team coach and the best way to [fix the problem] would be to honor international dates if we can get to that point with our league, so that it doesn’t become such a challenge for everybody to make it work”