When speaking of Major League Soccer's young stars and the US national team's future stalwarts, the LA Galaxy's Omar Gonzalez always comes to mind. The 22-year-old translated a 2009 MLS Rookie of the Year award and a solid 2010 performance into his first national team call-up against Brazil on Aug. 10.
Currently back at training with the USMNT ahead of a Jan. 22 friendly against Chile, the defender is hoping to earn a regular spot on the squad and kick off the new year on the right foot.
1. What's your most memorable United States national team moment?
I would have to say getting my first cap against Brazil and playing in front of all those fans. It was pretty amazing to get my first cap playing against one of the top teams in the world. I didn't know I was going to get that start until lunch that day. I was pretty much in shock. I was freaking out at lunch.
2. What would you tell yourself of five years ago?
That's a pretty tough question. I don't know. I think it would be maybe treat my body [right], just be a good pro. I need to treat my body right and make sure I'm ready to go every day.
3. Favorite teammate to play with? Why?
I think I'd have to say A.J. [DeLaGarza]. I've played with him since college, and me and him have a good thing going. I love playing with him.
4. What's one skill you could improve?
I'd say being a leader and a rock at the back. I'm working to improve my communication skills and being in tune in the game every second. I'm trying to put out fires before they happen, and watching the plays happen. Communication is the key.
5. Where do you see yourself in five years in regards to the US team?
I hope to see myself in Europe playing somewhere coming off of a World Cup appearance.
Noah Davis covers the United States national team for MLSsoccer.com. Follow him on Twitter at @noahedavis.