Los Angeles Galaxy defender Omar Gonzalez has reportedly signed a long-term contract that will keep him in LA for years to come. The 24-year-old American has appeared in 12 matches with the U.S. national team, and has totaled 119 appearances with the Galaxy since he was drafted by the team in the 2009 MLS SuperDraft.
After winning the Major League Soccer Rookie of the Year Award in 2009, Gonzalez proceeded to have an excellent sophomore season in 2010, leading his team to the league’s best record, while also being named to the MLS Best XI and MLS All-Star Game. He catapulted the Galaxy’s back line to one of the top defensive groups in the league.
In 2011, Gonzalez anchored another great defensive effort, allowing only 28 goals in 34 matches, and guiding the Galaxy to an MLS Cup title over the Houston Dynamo. He was named to the MLS Best XI and MLS All-Star Game again.
The former Maryland Terrapins standout is only 24 years old, but he plays like he has been a professional for decades. His defensive intelligence on the pitch is unparalleled in the MLS, and if the Galaxy want another shot at an MLS Cup title, they need to have a defender who can tactfully control the outcome of a game like Gonzalez can. He definitely has European soccer talent right now, so the Galaxy were clever in their decision to give him a contract that would lock him up for several years.
Galaxy manager Bruce Arena sung Gonzalez’s praises, and is clearly very happy with the deal. “We are pleased that Omar will remain with the Galaxy,” stated Arena. “In the past five years, he has arguably developed into the top defender in MLS. I believe he can continue to grow as a player and leader of our team.”
I can’t wait to see what Gonzalez can do for the Galaxy down the stretch. He could end up being the first American who’s widely recognized as a world-class player.