Omar Gonzalez shined as the United States advanced to the round of 16 with a 1-0 defeat to Germany and now the defender is hoping to leave an even greater imprint on the team’s tournament hopes.
Against Germany, Gonzalez enjoyed one of his strongest performances with the U.S. as his positioning and aerial ability helped silence the agile German attack for wide stretches of the game. While Gonzalez was leading the U.S. to qualification, his family was in a far different locale, stranded due to the rain watching his performance on a small phone.
“[Omar’s wife Erica] told me that [his family] were all huddled around some phones streaming the game,” Gonzalez told reporters in Recife. “And so it was a pretty cool experience for them even they though weren’t here. They were all watching and biting their nails in front of this little phone.”
The true measure of Gonzalez’s impact will be measured on Tuesday when Gonzalez may return to the U.S. lineup in the Round of 16 match against Belgium.
Whether or not he gets the start against the Red Devils, however, Gonzalez is pleased with his first showing on the world’s biggest stage.
“My first 90 minutes in a World Cup, there was a lot of emotions there, there were a lot of things going through my head,” said Gonzalez. “But I just wanted to take it one play at a time and just move on from there and if I did mess up, focus on the next play. I was just focused on doing my job and helping this team.”
Should Gonzalez start? Vote in the poll below.