CARSON, Calif. – Now that the 2014 season is over and the LA Galaxy are once again champions of MLS, LA Galaxy Insider Adam Serrano will look back on the season with his review on each position.
The LA Galaxy Insider Year in Review will begin with goalkeepers and then move up the field to defenders, midfielders, forwards, and finally, coaches. We’ll also look at Omar Gonzalez separately.
APPPEARANCES IN ALL OFFICIAL COMPETITIONS:
- GP: 29 (22 in MLS regular season, five in MLS Cup Playoffs, two in CONCACAF Champions League)
- GS: 29 (22 in MLS regular season, five in MLS Cup Playoffs, two in CONCACAF Champions League)
- G: 4 (all in MLS regular season)
- A: 4 (two MLS regular season, one in MLS Cup Playoffs, one in CONCACAF Champions League)
In 2014, Omar Gonzalez once again played a leading role in the LA Galaxy’s defensive success. A strong presence in the middle of the back four, Gonzalez steered a Galaxy defense that conceded a league-low 37 goals during the regular season while also tallying 10 shutouts. For his part in LA’s defensive success, Gonzalez earned his second consecutive MLS Defender of the Year nomination.
Despite missing six matches due to his participation in the U.S. National Team’s 2014 FIFA World Cup campaign, Gonzalez put forth another strong season as both the team’s defensive leader and a valuable target option on set pieces. From his familiar spot on the right side of central defense, Gonzalez’s ability to snuff out opposing attacks was a vital part of a Galaxy defense that was among the best in the league. On the offensive end, Gonzalez rebounded from a poor 2013 season to become a valuable target threat on set pieces. Gonzalez set a career-high in goals scored with four tallies as well as equalizing his career-best total in assists with two. Gonzalez’s performance led to a host of achievements including his fourth MLS All-Star selection and his third appearance on the MLS Best XI.
Internationally, Gonzalez solidified himself as a key member in U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann’s squad with eight appearances for the USMNT including three games played during the 2014 FIFA World Cup. In Brazil, Gonzalez grew from reserve to starter with strong showings against Germany in the group stages and Belgium in the Round of 16.
Gonzalez put forth another strong season in 2014, but was still prone to positional struggles that at times proved costly for the Galaxy.
Although these mistakes proved few and far between, they were often magnified given the important in-game circumstances. The 26-year-old endured one of his more trying games during the Galaxy’s 2014 MLS Cup win over the New England Revolution. After enjoying success matching up with the quick Charlie Davies, Gonzalez struggled when marking second half substitute Patrick Mullins. In the 79th minute, Mullins raced passed Gonzalez before firing a centering cross to Chris Tierney who scored the equalizer.
Heading into the 2015 season, it will be imperative for Gonzalez to clean up these defensive lapses as the Galaxy look to repeat as MLS Cup champions.
Omar Gonzalez remains the leader of the Galaxy defense and will resume this role once the season starts again in 2015.
During the Galaxy’s MLS Cup-winning campaign, Gonzalez solidified his position as one of the best central defenders in Major League Soccer. Heading into the 2015 season, the Galaxy will once again lean on Gonzalez to lead LA’s defense as they look to not only defend their MLS Cup title, but also mount challenges for the Supporters’ Shield, U.S. Open Cup and CONCACAF Champions League. If he can continue to remain one of the top defensive players in MLS, it will only help the 26-year-old further his career.
For a second straight year, Gonzalez is expected to once again play a major role with the U.S. National Team. In 2015, the U.S. will take part in the CONCACAF Gold Cup with Gonzalez again challenging for a regular place in the starting XI.