24 Under 24: #8 Omar Gonzalez, LA Galaxy
|Tale of the Tape|
|Matches played: 24|
|Matches started: 24|
#8. Omar Gonzalez
Pos: D | LA Galaxy | Age: 22
So when is USMNT manager Jurgen Klinsmann going to call him up? That’s the question on the minds of many MLS fans after the new German boss bypassed Gonzalez in the first two camps he’s assembled. Establishing himself on the international level seems like a natural next step in the development of Gonzalez, who is sure to gain Defender of the Year consideration in this his third season in the league. When he is not in the lineup, the league-leading Galaxy feel it big time. ‘Gonzo’ is a ball magnet along the back line, snuffing out countless attacks with solid timing and anticipation. Now he wants to do it for the Red-White-and-Blue.
What the TDs and coaches say: “He has a big, big future … Physical defender with big presence … He’s going to be All-Star quality centerback in the league for a decade … Understands game well and has good distribution … Doesn’t take a lot of risks … Lacks speed and change of pace but he gets the job done … Doesn’t turn as quick as some of the elite defenders but if you look at the movements, he’s gotten smarter and is a good reader of the game … Next few years needs to play with more composure and possession … If you look at where he’s at for his age, he’s doing very well. As he matures, can he start to affect the game even more? … He doesn’t have elite athleticism and you need to pair him up with someone with more pace to be successful.”