CARSON, Calif. – When the US National Team took the field at The Home Depot Center on Saturday, the defense featured a pair of faces familiar to the stadium.
LA Galaxy standouts Sean Franklin and Omar Gonzalez, who play their home games in the stadium, started for the Americans against Chile. Franklin earned his first cap while Gonzalez played for the second time in a US jersey.
The two helped the Americans earn a 1-1 draw against their South American counterparts.
For Gonzalez, the match was an enjoyable experience.
“It was definitely an honor to be playing with the national team,” Gonzalez said. “It was a fun game. The first half was so much fun and getting to see all the new guys out there was fun.”
Gonzalez started but was replaced at halftime. Franklin, meanwhile, went the distance in his first-ever appearance. In practice on Friday, Franklin said he felt as if he could earn the start but cautioned against getting ahead of himself.
“Nothing’s final until it’s written down,” Franklin said. “I was excited to get the start. I wanted to just calm down, not freak out too much.”
Both Franklin and Gonzalez had some shaky early moments but settled down and began to settle into their usual style of play.
In his 45 minutes on the field, Gonzalez said his budding partnership with New York Red Bulls defender Tim Ream was a positive.
“We worked together the last week and I like playing with him next to me,” he said. “Hopefully that’s one relationship I would like to see again.”
Franklin, meanwhile, said he felt he held his own against a tough Chilean side.
“I think I did OK," he said. "I wish I would have done better attacking-wise, as far as some better balls being crossed, but I thought I did OK,” he said.
About the only thing that did not go their way was not seeing teammate A.J. DeLaGarza on the field. The fullback dressed for the match but was the only unused substitute in the game.