Omar Gonzalez and Robbie Keane earn international call ups
LA Galaxy defender Omar Gonzalez was one of 23 players that were named today to the U.S. National Team roster ahead of their FIFA World Cup Qualifiers against Costa Rica and Mexico. Playing their second and third matches at this round of World Cup Qualifying, the U.S. will host Costa Rica at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, Colo. on Friday, March 22 (7 p.m. PT on ESPN) before traveling to Mexico City to face Mexico on Tuesday, March 26 (7:30 p.m. PT on ESPN).
Since debuting for the National Team in 2010, Gonzalez has collected four caps and made his World Cup Qualifying debut against Honduras on February 6, playing the full 90 minutes in that game. He travelled to Denver on Sunday night following the Galaxy’s 1-1 draw with Chivas USA at The Home Depot Center. He has played the full 90 minutes in all four of LA’s games this season, tallying an assist in the MLS regular season opening win over Chicago on March 3 and then scoring his first goal of 2013 in the 4-1 win over Herediano in the second leg of LA’s CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal on March 13.
WATCH: Keane scores vs Chicago
While Gonzalez is the only member of the Galaxy to be called into the U.S. National Team, he is not the club’s lone international as Robbie Keane has been included in the Republic of Ireland squad ahead of their upcoming UEFA World Cup Qualifiers against Sweden and Austria. Ireland’s all-time leading scorer with 54 international goals, Keane has 122 caps since debuting for his country in 1998, leaving him three caps shy of tying Shay Given for the most international appearances in Ireland history.
Ireland, who are looking to reach the World Cup for the first time since 2002 are currently in third place in Group Three of UEFA World Cup Qualifying with a 2-1-0 record for six points. Keane has played in two of those games, scoring once while missing Ireland’s lone loss. Ireland will play away to second place Sweden on Friday, March 22 before hosting fourth place Austria on Tuesday, March 26 in Dublin.
Both Gonzalez and Keane will miss the Galaxy’s next regular season game, on Saturday, March 23 at home against the Colorado Rapids before rejoining the club ahead of their first road game of the 2013 MLS season at Toronto FC on Saturday, March 30.
— AJ DeLaGarza (@AJD_20) March 18, 2013