LA Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena rejects possibility of offseason loans for Omar Gonzalez, Landon Donovan
Omar Gonzalez and Landon Donovan will not be going on loan in the MLS offseason, at least according to their LA Galaxy head coach, Bruce Arena.
In an interview with the Galaxy's All-Access podcast on LAGalaxy.com, Arena responded to a question about a possible loan for Gonzalez by rejecting the idea of such a move.
"Our players aren't going anywhere," he said. "Even though we argue that the [offseason] layoff is going to be too long, he can go in camp with the US national team in January, along with Landon Donovan.
"Our players have had a really tough run this year, in particular Robbie [Keane] and Omar with all their requirements with national teams. They've had a full 11 months of play and they need some time off and then they need to get back here in LA and be ready for a challenging campaign that includes in the beginning not only the league but the [CONCACAF] Champions League."
Donovan, Keane and Gonzalez – the team's three Designated Players – have all had varying degrees of success with offseason loan moves in the past. Donovan enjoyed two successful offseason stints with England's Everton in 2010 and 2012 and was recently linked to a a return to Merseyside for the first couple months of 2013. Keane scored three goals in a 2012 stint with Aston Villa. Gonzalez, however, had a much more unhappy 2012 loan, tearing his ACL in his first training session with the Bundesliga's 1. FC Nürnburg, causing him to miss the first half of that year's MLS season.
The 25-year-old Gonzalez, who inked his DP contract with LA in August, enjoyed another strong season in 2013, starting all 27 of the league games he appeared in and totaling a goal and two assists. He also appeared in both of the Galaxy's playoff games, started all four games as the Galaxy made a run to the semifinals of the 2012-13 CONCACAF Champions League and established himself as a mainstay on the US national team backline.
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Donovan had an extended offseason after taking a four-month sabbatical following the Galaxy's second consecutive championship run in the 2012 season but came on strong as the year progressed, finishing 2013 with 10 goals and nine assists while re-establishing himself on the national team after an impressive showing in the USMNT's Gold Cup run.
Keane, a 2013 Volkswagen MLS MVP finalist, guided the Galaxy attack for much of 2013, picking up 16 goals and 11 assists in just 23 games while remaining an important piece in the Irish national team's unsucessful World Cup qualifying campaign. He recently underwent a procedure to repair both of his Achilles tendons and announced his intention to take "an extended break."