US SoccerUS Soccer

Omar Gonzalez

Men's National Team
  • PositionDefender
  • Date of BirthOctober 11, 1988
  • Height6-5
  • Weight210
  • ClubLA Galaxy
  • World CupCaps:3
    Goals:0
  • CareerCaps:23
    Goals:0
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Did you know

Gonzalez is a star of the 2014 EA Sports World Cup special edition video game and his “sexy sax man” video as a goal celebration is featured

Playing History

MNT

Named to the U.S. MNT's roster for the 2014 FIFA World Cup and started against Germany on June 26 and in the Round of 16 against Belgium
Made his World Cup debut against Portugal on June 22, 2014, coming on as a sub in the 91st minute
Gonzalez is one of three U.S. players to start in eight of 10 final round qualifiers
Gonzalez joined the USMNT player pool in 2009 and made debut v Brazil August 10, 2010 at Meadowlands Stadium
He received his first WCQ opportunity against Honduras Feb. 6, 2013, the cap that tied him to the USA on the international level.

Youth National Teams

Gonzalez represented the US in all three 2007 Pan-American Games, scoring twice in loss to Bolivia
He played at the 2005 FIFA U-17 World Cup (13 mins v Côte d’Ivoire in group stage; 15 mins v Netherlands in knockout round)
In all, Gonzalez totaled eight Caps and scored three goals (including winner v CRC in CONCACAF qualifying for U-17) for U-17 team Attended the US Residency program in Bradenton from January – December 2005

Professional

A consistent and reliable MLS defender, Gonzalez has totaled 128 games, 127 starts, 7 goals, 5 assists, 20 yellow cards in his professional career
In August 2013, Gonzalez signed a $1.4 million deal to remain with the LA Galaxy, making him a Designated Player and the highest paid MLS defender
Starting the 2012 campaign on loan to FC Nuremberg, Gonzalez tore the ACL in his left knee at the team’s first training session
He made his first appearance with LA on July 4 v Philly, playing 45 minutes and was back to 90-minute form on July 28 v Dallas. Gonzalez finished the year scoring the MLS Cup-winning goal v Houston, earning MVP honors for the matchGonzalez appeared in every minute of Galaxy’s four playoff games, helping win 2011 MLS Cup.  His play earned MLS Defender of the Year honors and lead his club to a Supporters ShieldGonzalez led his club to a Supporters Shield and the Western Conference Final, earning the defender MLS All-Star and Best XI honors
A 2009 MLS SuperDraft 1st round pick by LA Galaxy, Gonzalez opened his rookie season as a starter with Galaxy and scored his first pro goal April 4 v Rapids  
He started all 30 Galaxy regular season games, missing only 28 minutes total (due to injury v Houston – June 28), and earned MLS Rookie of the Year honorsHe played all four playoff games that year, leading the Galaxy to the MLS Cup Final. 

Youth clubs

Gonzalez was a standout at the University of Maryland, winning NCAA title in 2008
He entered the MLS Draft following his junior season
Gonzalez scored his first collegiate goal in 4-1 win v Bucknell in 2006
Gonzalez was a member of the U-17 Residency Program
He played as a youth with the Dallas Texans, the club which has also produced Clint Dempsey and Brek Shea

Honors earned

2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup
2012 MLS Cup
2012 MLS Cup MVP
2011 MLS Cup & Supporter’s Shield
2011 MLS Defender of the Year
2010 MLS Supporter’s Shield
2010 MLS Best XI
2010 MLS All-Star
2009 MLS Rookie of the Year
2008 College Cup Defensive MVP
2008 NSCAA/adidas All-American
2008 All-ACC
2007 ACC Defensive Player of the Year
2005 USYSA All-American

Career Club History Map

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Did you know

Omar is friends with famous chef Giada de Laurentiis and her husband and has appeared on her cooking show

Overcoming Injuries

Gonzalez has battled through numerous injuries throughout his career and admitted he’s not yet 100 percent healthy as he continues to battle a “couple nicks.” Interestingly enough, the pace in training, which Gonzalez pegged as “200 miles per hour,” might not allow for much healing, but he said that should not slow him down.  “Last year’s [camp] was fun with a lot of good football,” Gonzalez said. “I’m looking forward to a good start to the year because last year was a great one for me. It all started with this January camp, so I’m looking forward to that again.” 

Gonzalez layed most of 2012 with a strained aductor muscle and contract uncertainty but carried on. “My whole thing was my injury. I’ve been dealing with my injury for quite some time, and now I think I’m getting over the hump and closing out the season I’ve been feeling really good,” Gonzalez told Sporting News. “I just have to do what I can, and keep getting treatment, so that my body can keep feeling better.”  Gonzalez blamed the injury for dips in form that plagued him, including a recent one that came around the time he signed his new multi-million dollar contract.

It was funny. We qualified for the World Cup and I should have been really high in confidence, but the D.C. thing happened and for some reason my confidence was low,” Gonzalez said. “The contract thing was never an issue in affecting play.

While it may not have led to his dips in form, Gonzalez did admit a sense of relief when he finally signed his new deal, which at three years and nearly $5 million makes him the highest-paid defender and one of the highest-paid players in the league.

The sense of relief is that it’s over with and I can focus on playing,” Gonzalez said. “Once the deal was done I was free to just concentrate on playing. It was a load off my shoulders.”

Also among his injuries, Gonzalez tore his ACL training with FC Nuremberg in Turkey on Jan 4, 2012 and had operation to repair it.  The rehab led to his playing just 14 Galaxy games in 2012.  

It was the worst injury of my career,” Gonzalez said. “It was just bad timing because I was on a loan to Nuremberg and things were looking great. All of a sudden in my first training session I went down. That was end of the whole loan and the first half of the M.L.S season. It was definitely heartbreaking, but I think I’ve put that behind me.  I wasn’t surprised in how quickly I returned,” Gonzalez said. “I put in the work. My physical therapists and trainers thought I looked great. We set a target date for July 4 and went for it. Right after surgery they had me on exercises at home and by Day 5 they had me walking. From then, it kept getting easier. It’s actually wasn't that bad.”

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Did you know

Brazilian star Ronaldinho was Omar's favorite player as a youth

Reaching Out

Through philanthropic efforts, Gonzalez reached out and met a child with cancer .  He was a soccer player and fan of Omar’s.  A mutual friend introduced them and they keep in touch to this day.  

Says the child's father, Roya Giordano:  “Our son, Mathias, 13 this coming June, suffers from osteosarcoma – a cancer of the bones.  After complaining of shin pain, cancer was found in July of 2012.  Scheduled for 21 rounds of chemotherapy, Mathias has undergone three lung surgeries and had his right leg amputated below the knee. With help from Eddie Pope, it was arranged for arranged for Gonzalez to meet Mathias and his family when the U.S. team faced Germany last summer. The cancer relapsed in late 2013 and Omar has been a steady presence life since first meeting him.  Omar has been a tremendous source of inspiration and hope for our son.”  

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Did you know

Omar's brother, Adrian, played football for Louisiana Tech, his sister Roxanna played soccer at Nichols State and his uncle Lalo Rodriguez Plata played soccer for Monterrey in Mexico

Overview
National Teams
Professional
Personal

An imposing defender who is dangerous on set pieces, Gonzalez has emerged as one of the most dependable options on the U.S. MNT’s back line, while also flourishing in Major League Soccer with the LA Galaxy. Gonzalez earned his first National Team cap in 2010 with a start against Brazil, and in 2013 the dual U.S. and Mexico citizen became cap-tied to the U.S. National Team on Feb. 26. Gonzalez was rewarded for his play with the LA Galaxy by signing a Designated Player contract late in the 2013 MLS season.

-Named to the U.S. MNT's roster for the 2014 FIFA World Cup and started against Germany on June 26 and in the Round of 16 against Belgium on July 1

-Made his World Cup debut against Portugal on June 22, 2014, coming on as a sub in the 91st minute

-Made a career-high 14 appearances for the U.S. MNT in 2013 and became cap-tied to the squad with his start against Mexico on Feb. 26

-Was named the 2012 MLS Cup MVP as the LA Galaxy won its second straight league crown

-Is a three-time member of the MLS Best XI (2010, 2011, 2013)

-Started alongside Carlos Bocanegra at centerback in the Aug. 10, 2010 match against Brazil at New Meadowlands Stadium

-A former member of the U-17 Residency Program, he played at the 2005 FIFA Under-17 World Cup in Peru 

-Named to the 2010 MLS Best XI and MLS All Star Team for the first time in his career 

2014: Named to the U.S. MNT's roster for the 2014 FIFA World Cup and started against Germany on June 26 and in the Round of 16 against Belgium on July 1... Made his World Cup debut against Portugal on June 22, 2014, coming on as a sub in the 91st minute ... Has appeared in six games in 2014, starting four ... 2013: Tied for third on the U.S. MNT with 14 appearances during the year and was second in minutes played with 1,172, trailing only DaMarcus Beasley … Gonzalez, who holds dual citizenship in the USA and Mexico, became cap-tied to the U.S. MNT with his start in the scoreless draw against Mexico on Feb. 26 at Estadio Azteca … 2012: Did not make an appearance for the U.S. MNT … 2011: Made one appearance for the USA, earning the start during the team’s 1-1 draw against Chile on Jan. 22 …2010: Made international debut for the U.S. MNT on Aug. 10, 2010 against Brazil … 2009: Received his first call-up to train with the full MNT … Under-20s: Played for the U.S. Under 20’s at the Pan-American Games in 2007, scoring twice in the USA’s loss to Bolivia … Under-17s: Played at the 2005 FIFA Under-17 World Cup in Peru … First Appearance: Aug. 10, 2010, vs. Brazil… First Goal: None

2013: Tallied a goal and two assists in 27 regular-season games in his fifth campaign with the LA Galaxy, earning MLS Best XI honors for the third time in his career … Became the LA Galaxy’s third Designated Player when he signed a multi-year contract in August … 2012: Was loaned to Nuremberg in the Bundesliga at the start of the year, but tore his left ACL in training and never made an appearance … Played in 14 regular-season games during his shortened MLS season and then thrived in the postseason where he was the 2012 MLS Cup MVP as the LA Galaxy won its second straight league championship … 2011:Was named MLS Defender of the Year, MLS Best XI, was an MLS All Star, and led the LA Galaxy to its third MLS Cup crown … Was part of a Galaxy defense that allowed only 28 goals in 34 regular-season games...2010: Named to the MLS Best XI for the first time … Played 28 matches for the Los Angeles Galaxy, scoring a career-best two goals … Named to the 2010 MLS All Star team … 2009: Drafted in the first round of MLS SuperDraft by Los Angeles Galaxy … Made his professional debut on March 22, 2009 in the Galaxy's first game of season against D.C. United … Scored his first professional goal on April 4, 2009 against the Colorado Rapids … Named MLS Rookie of the Year.

Holds an American and Mexican passport … Parents are Adrian and Maria … Has three siblings: Roxanna, Adrian and Luisanna … His uncle, Lalo Rodriguez Plata, played for Monterrey in the Mexican Primera División … Favorite music is country … His favorite offseason activity is relaxing … Sometimes travels with a 42-inch television.

Won the NCAA Championship in 2008 … Finished his college career with seven goals and five assists before turning pro after his junior season … Named to the NSCAA/Adidas All-American First Team and First Team All-ACC while also being named a semifinalist for the MAC Hermann Trophy … Named the College Cup Defensive MVP .... Was the 2007 ACC Defensive Player of the Year … Named to Second Team All ACC and NSCAA/Adidas All-American Third Team that season after claiming All-ACC Freshman Team and Soccer America Second Team All- Freshman honors the previous year.

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