CARSON, Calif. – LA Galaxy stalwarts Omar Gonzalez and Gyasi Zardes are heading to the Lone Star State this week to join up with the U.S. National Team ahead of their April 15 friendly against CONCACAF nemesis Mexico in San Antonio, Texas.
Gonzalez and Zardes were among 23 players named to the squad on Sunday at halftime of the Galaxy’s eventual 1-0 victory over Seattle Sounders FC. Both players are scheduled to return to Southern California after the game and are expected to be available for Saturday’s clash with Sporting Kansas City at StubHub Center.
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Zardes is in line to make his fifth appearance for the USMNT this year while Gonzalez will be making his first appearance in a U.S. shirt since making a second-half cameo in Landon Donovan’s final game for the U.S. last October.
“I’m excited. I haven’t been with the national team since Landon’s last game. It’s been a while,” Gonzalez who made eight appearances in 2014 said. “I’m ready to get back in with the group, put my head down, work hard and get a much-needed result.”
Wednesday’s match may be a friendly but it’s an important test for Klinsmann’s squad as they will not only look to get one over on a bitter rival but also solidify roster spots for this summer’s CONCACAF Gold Cup.
Facing Mexico deep in the heart of Texas will be difficult as the U.S. will be playing in front of nearly 65,000 Mexico supporters in a sold-out Alamodome.
Still a relative newcomer to the national team, Zardes is overjoyed about the chance to take on the USMNT’s biggest rival.
“I love it. I know growing up watching the U.S. play Mexico, every time that they played in the South[west], it was a home game for Mexico. I can’t wait,” Zardes said. “It feels amazing. It’s a blessing to get called up to my national team and to represent my nation against Mexico. It’s a big rivalry.”
The match will have a little extra added significance for Gonzalez who will not only be returning to his home state and don the Stars and Stripes in front of his friends and family, but will also be playing on his father’s birthday.
“It couldn’t be bigger,” Gonzalez said. “Hopefully I can get him a win.’
Adam Serrano is the LA Galaxy Insider. Read his blog at www.LAGalaxy.com/insider and contact him at LAGalaxyInsider@Gmail.com.