Jurgen Klinsmann asked his MLS-based national-teamers to seek short-term offseason loan deals to stay sharp heading into a World Cup year, but Omar Gonzalez isn't certain such a move will be right for him.
The LA Galaxy center back, a finalist for MLS' Defender of the Year honor won Tuesday by New England's José Gonçalves, says he plans to take the next few weeks easy, then start preparing for the US national team's January camp.
“I'm still dealing with a little pain from my groin,” Gonzalez said Tuesday morning during a conference call with local media. “I just recently got done with the [national team's final 2013] games, and so right now I'm just relaxing, trying to let this groin heal up, and when it gets closer to January, got to start getting fit and whether I'm here in California with the national team for January camp or something else comes along, we'll figure that out. But as of right now, I'm just planning on the January camp.”
Gonzalez, who suffered the groin/adductor injury in last year's MLS Cup final and played through it all season, says he's “pretty much open to anything” if the possibility of a loan arises, “but before I decide on anything, we have to talk to Bruce, and the last time I went on loan, that didn't go so well. I don't know what's going to happen, so as of right now, I'm just thinking about January camp, staying here, training hard with the national team, and that's where my mind's at.”
Gonzalez went on loan to German Bundesliga side FC Nürnberg in January 2012 and tore an anterior cruciate ligament after colliding with Timothy Chandler in his first training session with the club. He was sidelined until July, then played a major role in LA's run to a second successive MLS Cup title, winning the MVP award after the victory over Houston last December.
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There was interest in the 6-foot-5 Texan from Nürnberg, elsewhere in Europe and in Mexico, but he signed a Designated Player deal with the Galaxy in mid-August. He said he'd wait to see if offers materialize next month before making a decision on going elsewhere to stay sharp before the next MLS campaign begins in March.
“Once it gets closer to January, once these club teams start actually asking about certain players, and whether or not these opportunities are real,” Gonzalez said. “As of right now, my plan is just to go to January camp. At the end of the day, it's also the Galaxy and the league's decision whether they want me to go, as well.”