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Report: Gonzalez open to Mexico call-up


Photo by Howard C. Smith/

Los Angeles Galaxy centerback Omar Gonzalez hasn't gotten a whiff of the U.S. national team since Jurgen Klinsmann became head coach, and as a result, it appears that he's keeping his options open when it comes to international soccer.

Gonzalez, who has both American and Mexican citizenship, told ESPN that he is open to being called into the Mexican national team should the opportunity arise.

Gonzalez' situation is not unlike the one surrounding FC Dallas' George John, another MLS centerback with dual citizenship who has already begun exploring the possibility of playing for Greece. Despite both being likely candidates to be January U.S camp call-ups, both have been passed over in the U.S. picture lately, and both have alternatives to reach the international stage should those second countries come calling.

Gonzalez, the 2009 MLS Rookie of the Year, has suited up twice for the U.S. national team, both in friendlies while Bob Bradley was coach. He made his debut against Brazil in August, 2010, and then played in a friendly against Chile at the culmination of last January's training camp, but neither appearance cap-tied him to the United States.

Klinsmann addressed the omission of Gonzalez, among other players, after a training session this week, telling SBI:

"We don't want to shake up the group every time we get together too much. We saw that there are players that want to get into this group and they have all the case, but at the same time if you want to develop consistency and you want to improve the quality of the group right now, you need to bring them in regularly.

"It's my opinion the best that are right now available. If there are injuries, there are injuries. But in general, I want the best players always here, and that makes it difficult now for Benny (Feilhaber) or for George John and Omar Gonzalez for example, I understand that."


What do you think of this development? Think it's a mistake that Klinsmann hasn't called Gonzalez into camp yet? Do you think Gonzalez is national-team material for Mexico or the United States? 

Share your thoughts below.


  1. Orozco had plenty of good results and success with San Luis before he spent a year in Philadelphia for their expansion year. He had a really good run of play defending well and scoring a few times in clutch moments in the Libertadores a few years back

  2. Not sure that’s true, I’ve met Omar and I am pretty sure I heard him speak Spanish, AJ that may be true, but Omar grew up in Dallas, kind of hard not to speak it, especially if your whole family does?

  3. Anybody noticed Omar “Smash” Gonzalez’s recent forays up the field with the ball? He could be attempting to demonstrate something for Klinsman. Anyway, Omar is good but not great. I’ve always believed his stamina was in question. He works incredibly hard and does really well for 70 minutes but seems to falter in the last 20.

  4. Orozco is the only selection I find befuddling. Every other CB who has been selected is likely to play a role during this cycle. Gonzalez will probably get his opportunities too. He’s not even arguably so much better than the others (besides Orozco) who have been selected that I think there’s anything to yell about.

  5. You’re REALLY calling Beasley “very technical”? Have you ever seen him play? His first touch is atrocious.

  6. I think the rules used to make a lot more sense when you could only switch after youth competition. Omar’s played in senior team friendlies in his twenties; it’s not a case of pure homerism, I’m glad to have Edgar Castillo, but I’d prefer to get our players through traditional means.

    There are definitely other players who view international play as something more than a simple career opportunity. If someone has a background in different countries like Owen Hargreaves and has to make a decision of which flag to put on his chest, that’s not something I’m going to care about. I can guarantee, though, that there is a chunk of players who would choose to try to work themselves into a national team instead of switching to a different one if their career stagnates.

  7. Fair enough.

    However in a sense, FIFA rules agree with you, because of course o ce you’re cap-tied — once you have “suited up”, as you put it, for real competition — you’re not allowed to switch to that with another country. They just don’t count the youth teams as “suiting up” the way you apparently do. Which I think is also fair enough, especially since the rules on that count are clear and have been made known to everyone.

  8. Yep, immigrant kid with dual citizenship. Even if I had torn loyalties, which I personally don’t, something seems wrong about suiting up for one national team and then suiting up for a different one. Like I said, I understand the career dynamic, but for me it’s not just a career and it just wouldn’t be for me.

  9. Are you of a multi-national background?

    I ask because if not, well I imagine it’s hard to imagine the multiple and sometimes conflicti g loyalties of those who are (whatever the context).

  10. Unless TPTB of US soccer were (incredibly) unaware of FIFA rules on the point, and the possibility of players of multiple nationalities switching before being cap-tied through competitive play at the senior level, yes, the situations of these two are the same.

  11. I fully understand the career implications of these decisions, but I could never ever switch national teams if I was a pro player. Some people just have their head screwed on differently I guess.

  12. “he’s probably going to be too old and beat up to play a role in 2014.”

    You don’t know that.

    You could argue that Gooch has gotten a lot of rest the last few years so in 2014 his 32 year old body may not have 32 years of wear on it. Klinsmann played in a World cup final with a 30 something center half and knows that 32 is hardly over the hill in a World Cup.

    You all seem to think anyone can play center half for Sporting Lisbon. That is not true. Omar can’t. You are all so eager to dump Gooch because he has been hurt that you forget how awesome a player he can be when in form. When Gooch was Omar’s

    age he was already playing for a pretty good team in Belgium.

    If Gooch can keep up his form I see no reason why he can’t be the US’ first choice “big guy” in 2014.

    As for JK getting a clcser look at Omar;well geez,he lives in LA. He probably knows as much about the Galaxy’s players over the last few years as anyone. He’s probably practiced with him a number of times.

    Do any of you really doubt that Klinsmann is really familiar with all the Galaxy players?

  13. Cameron is more skilled and is probably a better athlete than Captain Crofton.

    But Beckerman is a tougher, more disciplined soccer player. He has what they call a better soccer “brain”.

    If everything was hitting the fan I’d rather have Beckerman by my side.

    Nevertheless, I’d like to see Cameron get some sort of shot.

  14. “Juan and Teal play at a position where the depth is slim to none”

    If you go with the idea that you need two strikers, in addition to those two you have Jozy, Shea, and presumably further back Gomez, Davies, Wondo and Landon and Duece in a pinch.

    So while it isn’t perfect, with Jozy and Shea playing well, it’s not as bad as it was even a few months ago.

  15. “I believe Mixx will be on the olympic squad because it is more difficult for him to make USMNT games from Europe (he’s with a new club as well).”

    Are you sure about that transfer? He has been with Stabaek since 2008. He was with them after the last transfer window closed so has he been loaned out?

    Mixx apparently has a very strong desire to play for the Olympic team. He said in an article that it would very meaningful for him.

  16. “Gonzales has absolutely been one of the best centerbacks in MLS for a while.”

    So what?

    The top three American scorers in MLS are Donovan, Wondo and Davies. Donovan is a given even if he wasn’t scoring so much but why aren’t you bitching about the exclusion of the other two?

    Other recent great American scorers in MLS have included Kenny Cooper, Jeff Cunningham and Conor Casey. I see their MLS success guaranteed their international success.


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