GLENDALE, Ariz. – It was a tale of two halves for U.S. National Team defender Omar Gonzalez.
In the opening stanza, Gonzalez was sold on both sides of the ball as he helped in the build-up of the Americans opening goal while also repeatedly snuffing out scoring attempts by a Mexican attack that was toothless early. But in the second half, Gonzalez found himself the victim of a Mexico screen play that allowed Rafael Marquez to score Mexico’s first goal before he and Real Salt Lake defender Tony Beltran were caught out of position on Alan Pulido’s goal.
After the match, Gonzalez which the Galaxy defender stated resembled a World Cup game, he admitted that there is still plenty of work to be done as he looks to lock down a starting spot for the USMNT in Brazil.
“These games are all about preparations and building team chemistry and I thought that overall, the team played well,” said Gonzalez. “We just had to get better at set pieces, I got picked on that set piece goal, but it’s something that I’m happy had in a friendly rather than a world cup. I’m definitely working on it.”
And despite declaring the race for the center back role alongside Matt Besler open, Klinsmann stated that he’d stick by Gonzalez and allow him to state his case for starting in Brazil.
“It’s normal that they struggle right now because they barely start their season. They have two to three games in their season, so Mexico is far ahead of us in terms of rhythm and stuff like that,” said Klinsmann.” We are patient in the process. Obviously, in two months from now, I will make the decisions who is going to be the ideal pairing and the two center backs.”