WASHINGTON – Omar Gonzalez is back from a successful stint with the U.S. national team and has declared himself ready to participate in Saturday’s match against Toronto FC.
Gonzalez rejoined the Galaxy on Wednesday evening and immediately participated in two training sessions with the club ahead of their journey to Toronto on Friday. Following Thursday’s session Gonzalez told reporters that he felt “sharp” after his time with the U.S. squad, which included two 90 minute performances against Costa Rica and Mexico.
The Galaxy center back’s rise to U.S. national team regular has been impressive, but Gonzalez asserts that he’ll need to continue to perform for LA to keep his ascension going.
“It’s great. I’ve been ready for that level for a while now. It’s great to be in the mix and it’s great to get that kind of recognition, but that’s not what I’m looking for,” said Gonzalez. “I’m looking to be on the team and help win games and do whatever I can to be a part of that process and enjoying every single moment, staying humble then coming back to my club, the Galaxy and putting my head down and working hard to continue my success.”
But Gonzalez readily admits that the rise has done wonders for his confidence.
“It definitely feels good having that kind of recognition, But I just want to continue that and help the Galaxy win more championships,” the defender said.
One thing that Gonzalez admits helped him greatly was his performance his start against Honduras last month that steeled him for Azteca.
“I think Honduras, that atmosphere is as tough as it gets. With the humidity the field, the heat, and the fans, that was a great way to start off my career with the national team," said Gonzalez. "I think I learned a lot in that game. I felt a lot more prepared going into Azteca."
As for TFC, Gonzalez expects that the Galaxy will face a challenge against a re-energized Toronto FC side that he identifies as an organized squad.
"I haven’t really kept up with the beginning of the season, but I know that they beat KC and that’s a great start for them coming off two not so great years,” said Gonzalez. “They’re starting off on the right foot this year and it’s good to see. I’m looking for a good sharp and intense game.”