CARSON, Calif. – Omar Gonzalez's return from a torn anterior cruciate ligament has hit a little snag, and it's looking unlikely that he will feature on the LA Galaxy's Pacific Northwest trek for games Saturday at Portland (11 pm ET, NBC Sports Network, live chat on MLSsoccer.com) and Wednesday at Vancouver.
Scar tissue in his right knee is causing some pain, and his own “skepticism” about playing on artificial turf makes it uncertain whether he'll be in Bruce Arena's plans. The Galaxy are back at The Home Depot Center the following weekend, for the SuperClasico against Chivas USA.
“We're just trying to figure out if that's the best case for me, to play [in Portland and Vancouver],” Gonzalez said. “It's still up in the air. ... If I'm going to do it, then I have to be really confident and really mentally strong about it, but we just don't know yet.”
The reigning MLS Defender of the Year made his season debut in the Fourth of July defeat to Philadelphia at The Home Depot Center. Gonzalez, activated from the Disabled List the day before following five-and-a-half months of recovery and rehabilitation, wasn't really tested in a decent first-half performance.
He watched from the bench as the Galaxy won last weekend at Chicago.
“I didn't feel as good in the Chicago game as I did the very first game,” he said. “I have a lot of scar tissue underneath my tendon, and that's what's causing the problems, so we're working on that to get rid of that. I picked up some other knocks here and there, so it's just been tough trying to get to full health.”
Gonzalez, who declined to identify the “knocks,” tore the ACL in his right knee in January, during his first training session on loan to German club FC Nuremberg. He returned to full training last month, played 45 minutes in a July 2 scrimmage against the Galaxy's U-17/18 Academy team, and then was thrust into the starting lineup for the Fourth of July game against Philadelphia, playing 45 minutes.
“For the game against Philly, I felt great,” Gonzalez said. “I had no nagging injuries, so I felt really confident to play in that game. But now I've got some other problems, and, you know, it just doesn't feel right right now. I'm kind of hitting a little spot where I'm kind of questioning it a little bit. I think I have to really think about things right now.”
The Galaxy on Friday traded No. 3 goalkeeper Bill Gaudette to the New York Red Bulls for a second-round selection in the 2014 Supplemental Draft and signed MLS pool goalkeeper Brian Rowe.
Rowe is from UCLA, a Chivas USA Supplemental Draft pick who signed as a pool keeper when he lost the battle for the Rojiblancos' No. 3 job. He spent time with the Galaxy while starter Josh Saunders was away, making the 18-man roster for games at Seattle and New York and for a Reserve League game against San Jose. He also played in two Reserve League matches for Portland and another for Philadelphia.
Gaudette was originally signed at the end of February after spending last season with Montreal in the North American Soccer League. He made four first-team appearances for LA, one in a US Open Cup match, and two in the Reserve League.