The LA Galaxy Thursday selected University of Maryland defender Omar Gonzalez with the No. 3 pick of the first round of the 2009 MLS SuperDraft. Voted the Defensive MVP at the 2008 College Cup after helping Maryland win the National Championship, Gonzalez is a member of the Generation adidas program, meaning that he will occupy one of four spots on the Galaxy's Developmental Roster and will not count against the club's salary budget.
"We think that Omar has the potential to be an outstanding defender for our club," Galaxy General Manager and Head Coach Bruce Arena said. "He comes from an outstanding collegiate program that instills excellent qualities in their players and he fills a void in an area of the field that we felt we needed to improve."
A native of Dallas, Gonzalez started all 69 games in which he appeared in for the Terrapins, scoring seven goals and adding five assists while helping his team reach the NCAA Tournament in each of his three seasons. Strong in the air and good with the ball at his feet, Gonzalez was a semifinalist for the 2008 MAC Hermann Trophy which is given annually to the nation's best college soccer player. Additionally, the 6-foot-5 center back was named an NSCAA/adidas First Team All-American in 2008 and a member of the All-ACC First Team.
"I'm very happy with going to LA and I'm really excited to be playing there, Gonzalez said. "It's going to be a great experience living there and playing in front of a great crowd."