CARSON, Calif. – The LA Galaxy will need to make do without center back Omar Gonzalez for their match against the Portland Timbers after head coach Bruce Arena told reporters on Thursday that the defender’s left knee injury will force him to miss “anywhere from a week to two weeks.”
Arena confirmed that Gonzalez is making progress and was in the training room receiving treatment while the Galaxy trained for their match against Portland.
The injury comes at an awkward time for Gonzalez as the 30-man U.S. National Team preliminary squad will convene on the campus of Stanford University for a two-week long training camp next week as head coach Jurgen Klinsmann looks for the 23 that he will take to Brazil.
Despite the injury, Arena still expects Gonzalez to be among the 30 called into the training camp.
“Omar is making progress. [He has] just a little tweak on his [left] knee,” said Arena. “[He’ll miss] anywhere from a week or two weeks, but I do expect him to go off next week.”
The 25-year-old center back suffered the injury in the first half of LA’s 1-0 defeat to the Colorado Rapids last Saturday. Gonzalez appeared to “tweak” his knee while leaping for a header and landing awkwardly. He was promptly substituted at the half by Arena and replaced by second-year center back Kofi Opare, who is expected to take his place yet again on Saturday.
Due to the timing of Gonzalez’s injury, the Galaxy will lose their star center back for one extra game before the already planned departure of MLS-based U.S. internationals. Those who are named to the squads in Brazil are expected to return in early July, but as Arena jokes, you never know how long they could be gone.
“Maybe it will be three months because maybe they’ll make the World Cup final,” said Arena. “Anything is possible as we know.”