How Acquired: Selected by the Galaxy in the first round (3rd overall) of the 2009 MLS SuperDraft.
The 2011 MLS Defender of the Year and a physical force in the center of the LA defense, Gonzalez has rapidly risen the ranks to become one of the best defenders not just in MLS, but in all of Galaxy history. However, the club will be forced to do without his aerial ability at both ends of the field for much of this season as he recovers from a torn ACL that he suffered while on loan in Germany in January.
2011: The 2011 MLS Defender of the Year, as well as the Galaxy’s Defender of the Year and a member of the MLS Best XI, Gonzalez had two goals and an assist in 29 regular season games. With Gonzalez marshaling the center of defense, the Galaxy allowed the fewest goals in the league and equaled an MLS record with 17 clean sheets while adding two more in the playoffs and three in the CONCACAF Champions League. After missing the first three games of the year, Gonzalez returned to the field in April and scored his first goal of the season at Chicago on 4/17. He added a second goal against FC Dallas on 8/6 before tallying an assist at Kansas City on 9/5. Gonzalez also missed time in mid-July after breaking his nose, forcing him to miss the MLS All-Star Game, which he had been named as a starter for. He added a goal and an assist in the U.S. Open Cup and a goal in the Champions League as well. In the playoffs, Gonzalez played every minute of LA’s four games, helping the club win their first MLS Cup since 2005. 2010: The Galaxy’s 2010 Defender of the Year and an MLS All-Star for the first time in his career, Gonzalez had a breakout season for the Galaxy in 2010. A finalist for the MLS Defender of the Year award and a member of the league’s Best XI, Gonzalez started 28 of the club’s regular season games, as well as all three postseason games, leading the club in regular season games played and minutes played amongst all field players. He scored his first goal of the year in the 4-0 win at Seattle on 5/8 and then added his second in second half stoppage time of the 1-1 draw at Chicago on 9/4, heading home a Landon Donovan corner kick to save a point for LA. Gonzalez also added a goal in the postseason, scoring the game-winner in the second leg of the Western Conference Semifinal Series win over Seattle at The Home Depot Center when he headed a David Beckham freekick past Kasey Keller to give LA a 2-0 lead. He was booked a team-high eight times on the season and was forced to miss two games through suspension. These were the first two games of Gonzlaez’s MLS career that he missed and LA lost both games by 2-0 scorelines. He was the first Galaxy defender to be named to the Best XI since Chris Albright in 2005 and the first LA nominee to be named a finalist for the league’s Defender of the Year award since Tyrone Marshall that same season. 2009: The 2009 MLS Rookie of the Year, Gonzalez was the only Galaxy player to start all 30 of the club’s regular season games. He made his MLS debut starting and playing all 90 minutes at center back in the season opening 2-2 draw vs. D.C. United on 3/22. He scored the first goal of his MLS career in the following game, heading home a Landon Donovan corner kick in the first half of a 3-2 loss vs. Colorado on 4/4. Gonzalez later added the first assist of his career on David Beckham’s game-winning goal vs. Chivas USA on 8/29. He played the full 90 minutes in 29 of LA’s 30 regular season games, missing just the final 28 minutes of the 1-0 vs. Houston on 6/28 because of an injury. At just 21years of age he led the Galaxy in both minutes played (2,672) and yellow cards (five), collecting his first in the 1-1 draw at FC Dallas on 5/23, while also setting new club rookie records for games started and minutes played and tying the record for games played by a rookie. He helped the Galaxy allow an MLS record 31 fewer goals than the season before and set a club record 12 clean sheets. In the postseason, Gonzalez started all four of the Galaxy’s games, going the distance in each of the first three before being forced to exit late in regulation of MLS Cup because of an injury. He joined Sean Franklin as the only two players in club history to have been named MLS Rookie of the Year.
Joined FC Nürnberg of the German Bundesliga on a six-week loan on January 5, but suffered a torn ACL in his left knee during his first training session with the club, ending the loan and forcing Gonzalez to return to the U.S. in order to undergo surgery.
A three year starter at the University of Maryland, Gonzalez started all 69 of the games in which he appeared in for the Terrapins, helping them win the NCAA Championship as a junior in 2008. Gonzalez finished his college career with seven goals and five assists before turning pro after his junior season. He had a career-high five goals to go along with one assist in 2008 when he was named to the NSCAA/adidas All-American First Team and First Team All-ACC while also being named a semifinalist for the MAC Hermann Trophy, which is given out annually to the country’s best college soccer player. In the NCAA Tournament, Gonzalez spearheaded a Maryland defense that allowed just one goal in five games and was named the College Cup Defensive MVP. He helped lead the Terrapins to 15 clean sheets in 26 games, including seven in eight games during the ACC and NCAA Tournaments. The 2007 ACC Defensive Player of the Year, Gonzalez was also named Second Team All-ACC and to the NSCAA/adidas All- American Third Team that season after claiming All-ACC Freshman Team and Soccer America Second Team All-Freshman honors the previous year. He scored his first career-goal in 2006 in a 4-1 win over Bucknell, also adding an assist in that game.
Gonzalez has collected two caps with the U.S. National Team, making his debut in a friendly against Brazil on August 10, 2010. He played 90 minutes in central defense in that game, which was the National Team’s first since the end of the World Cup. He earned his second cap in January, starting and playing the opening 45 minutes in the 1-1 draw with Chile at The Home Depot Center. That was the second straight year that Gonzalez was called into the National Team’s January camp. He was also part of a training camp with the U.S. in early February of 2011. He was originally listed in the U.S. squad for a camp in January 2012, but withdrew in order to begin his loan with FC Nürnberg. Prior to joining the Galaxy, Gonzalez represented the U.S. at the Under- 17 and Under-20 levels. In 2005, he played for John Hackworth at the FIFA Under-17 World Cup in Peru. He appeared in two games at the tournament as the U.S. was eliminated in the Quarterfinals by the Netherlands. In 2007, he played for Bob Jenkins and the U.S. Under-20’s at the Pan-American Games. He started all three games for the U.S., scoring twice in the 4-2 loss to