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Report: Gonzalez open to Mexico call-up

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Photo by Howard C. Smith/ISIphotos.com

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."

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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.

Comments

  1. BS.

    Subotic spent most of his life abroad and only played here for a few years. Once he realised he was any good he was already playing in Europe and that fact alone made it pretty clear that the odds were against him ever deciding to play for the US.

    If Gooch is back to anything like his old self, there is no way Omar beats him out. Omar is big and strong; right now that’s about it. He’s also very clumsy.

    If John is such hot stuff why didn’t Greece cap tie him in September when they were playing a couple of Euro qualfiers?

    CB may not be a position of strength right now but there are a number of possibilties who may develop of the next two years.

    John and Gonzo are good candidates but if they are too impatient with the process then maybe they should do whatever they have to do. Unless you are a proven superstar, and those two are not, you stick with your system and your beliefs.

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  2. “But for whatever reason, JK has suggested that he may never get a shot. ”

    JK has made his reason clear. Right now he thinks Omar is not good enough.

    He did not say that it would be that way forever. Players lose form and players gain form.

    No one ever said Omar would not get a shot. It just won’t be right now.

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  3. CB may be our weak spot, but it’s apparently not weak enough for Omar to move up in the pecking order.

    Ream is having issues now, but his rookie year was solid and he’s capable of playing possession out of the back, a skill that Klinsmann clearly values. Can Gonzalez do that yet?

    I think Klinsi’s unstated message to Gonzo is pretty clear: get better and your name will be in the discussion.

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  4. Mexico has younger players than Gonzales already lining up a spot on the senior Mexican NT. Guys like Nestor Araujo, DIego Reyes, Hiram Mier, Kristian Alvarez, Hugo Ayala and three of the CBs on the Mexican U17 team that won the U17 WC over the summer.

    Omar doesn’t possess the typical clean footwork Mexican CBs usually show but he does have other attributes that could be helpful in the long run.

    As far as Mexico capping him to “stick it to the US”, that isn’t going to happen. Especially when you consider the fact that Corona went public with his desire to play for Mexico long before he was called in for the Mexican U23s last month. Same thing happened with Francisco Torres, who said he preferred to play for Mexico until it became clear that Sven wasn’t going to call him in and then he accepted Bradley’s call. Just do a search for Torres’ name on any Mexican soccer site, there are quite a few interviews with Paco from the fall of 07 and the spring of 08 where the kid claimed he would call for Mexico if they called him. Once he chose the US though, he changed his tune and we know the rest. We also already know what happened with Castillo not to mention the failed attempts at getting Ruben Luna and Bryan Leyva to play for the US youth teams even though both of these kids always maintained their desire to play for Mexico.

    Now US Soccer is scrambling to lock down Raul Mendiola even though he’s, once again, a Mexican citizen who wants to play for Mexico.

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  5. Omar can’t speak Spanish. 🙂 And GJ situation is much more of a joke… trying to play for a country he has no affiliation besides his grandpa being born there is wiggidy wiggidy Wack!

    I hope they decide to play for the U.S because they truly want to. And most importantly hope they get called in January. If we lose them both I swear I’m going to punch an omish person at an airport.

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  6. “Do you think Gonzalez is national-team material for Mexico or the United States?’

    Wrong question. He’d only need be playing better than someone called in his place, and noting more.

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  7. People often put this story to the wrong question, will he make the 11. The question should be, do all of those selected deserve the calls over John, Gonzalez, and Cameron all the time. The answer is a resounding NO. It really doesn’t matter if they make the 11, or the side. For example, should they have gotten a call over so and so in this or that camp. The answer is YES. One can easily find a time and place where they should have been called up. The question is who has stigmatized these players and why?

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  8. Im sorry JK but I don’t like how he’s running this team at all. He says he wants the best players now but yet he calls guys like Orozco, Larentowicz and he doesn’t want to call players like John, Gonzalz, Diskerud, Gatt because “they’re not good enough” get real I feel like the fans should choices the player for the friendlies because we are the ones who want to see Gonzo, Mix, Gatt, John and more players to play but JK doesn’t agree its time for them to play when these players are doing awesome for their clubs. Listen I admit I was a Bob Bradley hater but atleast Bradley would call players like Agudelo, Ream, Diskerud, Bunbury, Shea, and I’m sure if Bradley was still coach players like Gonzo, Mix, John, Gatt would be playing in these friendlies. Either JK start giving what the fans want or get out thats how it should be!

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  9. Honestly, it is my belief that anyone who would accept a callup from Mexico should not be on the American team. I wish you well Omar, good luck with themexican team.

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  10. Honestly, it is my belief that anyone who would accept a callup from Mexico should not be on the American team. I wish you well Omar, good luck with themexican team.

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  11. Sasha should be there in addition to Larentowicz. JK only called up 22 players (23 isn’t unusual) and didn’t include many midfielders. Larentowicz account for himself well in his 7 seconds of play against Belgium, stepping into spaces and cleaning up someone else’s giveaway that would have given Belgium a 1-on-1 with Howard.

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  12. The fact that he was in the system means jack. He was an immigrant kid playing soccer in the park and got asked to be on a team. Who would have said no? That doesn’t mean he has any loyalty to that team.

    If you had to flee your home country due to an oppressive regime, would you lose the desire to represent that country, even if your host country let you play on their youth team? Didn’t think so.

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  13. Cameron’s definitely got a speed, agility and strength edge, but I think Beckerman’s probably a better tactical guy.

    However, if the formation needed to change on the fly, say after a substitution, Cameron could easily slot into a CDM role from CB, or vice versa.

    I might own Cameron’s jersey, but I can’t say he’d bump Bradley, Jones, Edu or Beckerman from the list at that position.

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  14. Apparently he hasn’t heard that Klinsman only likes defenders who can’t defend like Castillo Orozco and Ream. Or players who get minimal playing time for their clubs like Torres or Anguduelo.

    Defenders Like Omar and John who actually are ok at stopping the ball from going in need not apply.

    But he isn’t good enough for either team. If Mex calls him up it will only be to keep him from us.
    Trust me Mex saw his unimpressive natl team games.

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  15. JURGEN CALL THOSE 2 UP BEFORE WE LOSE THEM, CAUSE IF WE DO, OMG IMA PUT 100% BLAME TOWARDS YOU Omar is better than Tim Ream who constantly looses the ball and Orozco omg Jurgen better call them both up.

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  16. Any true USMNT fan wants that because Ream’s getting the opportunities. Can’t root against your own guys with hate, come on!

    But if the reasons some fans are befuddled by the centerback choices escape you, I don’t get that.

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  17. did you put Ream in the physical center back category? come on man, he’s got some strong qualities, but that is not one of them

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  18. we’re all listening…get over yourself man

    Gonzo can’t play at the Olympics, and Coach has called in new faces and given new roles. Orozco is a new face, as Gonzo or John would be. Klinsmann prefers Orozco, that simple.

    we can agree or disagree on that, but we’re all listening…and watching

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  19. Hector Moreno starting and excelling for Espanyol in La Liga and Maza Rodriguez doing the same for Stuttgart I do not get the nightmare comment

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  20. this “Gonzo doesn’t have the technical ability to play out of the back” BS is just that, BS. Frankly, he’s improved tremendously in that regard just this year, upgrade your files.

    players develop. Gonzo could use Coach’s teachings to develop parts of his game for the better of the USMNT. Boca and Gooch won’t last forever, and Goodson is not a physical player at all!

    But Klinsmann is not interested and prefers the comfort zone of calling in Ream and Orozco.

    OK, hope it works. We’ll see.

    GO USA!!!

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  21. I am also of the opinion John is a more complete player but just in the way Omars improved over the last year has me very excited about his long term prospects for us. It would be a damn shame if Klinnsman F’s this up

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  22. Me too, the kid does nothing but impress and improve. Very strange he cant even see the practice field with the nats. Very strange

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  23. First-John has not been in poor form but his team has. Omar and him are terrific. Omar may be suspect against speedy attackers but hes earned a right to prove us wrong in that regard and John is YEARS past due for getting his chance.
    Both players are seemingly getting played to the left.
    Both players have dual citizenship..
    Both players need a shot ASAP.
    Its common sense.
    While I haven’t seen Orozco stink it up I also haven’t seen him do anything John or Gonzalez cant do…and Johns distribution is materially better than Omars.
    In my mind due to their physical dominance and attacking prowess they both should be higher than Orozco…and lets not even talk about Ream.

    Coach is FKIN UP!

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  24. Larentowicz is in camp because Holden & Torres are injured and Jones hasn’t been playing very much and wasn’t called up. If any one of those 3 are available, Larentowicz would not be there. If Gonzalez and John were to be included, you don’t subtract from the midfielders to 6 or forwards and add 8 or 9 defenders. Just doesn’t make tactical sense to have that many defenders for 4 spots.

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  25. He would never play for Mexico. I watched the RSL game the other night. Omar is big and good in the air, but he is too slow and clumsy on the ball to play at the international level, let alone Mexico.

    And, this is coming from a Galaxy fan. Don’t get me wrong, I like Omar, great guy, good player, but not an international caliber center back……yet.

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  26. Its getting very stupid. Really makes you wonder…

    I guess we will have to wait to see George and Omar after January I suppose. LAME

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  27. So what is he supposed to do, if he can’t get called in because Klinsmann doesn’t like him? Just sit out so as not to offend your precious jingoistic sensibilities?

    It’s not like Rossi, Omar would love to play for the US. But for whatever reason, JK has suggested that he may never get a shot.

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  28. dude, a friendly doesn’t cap TIE you to the team. so it makes no difference until there is a meaningful match…which we don’t have for awhile. RELAX. JK has specifically stated what his plan is. I will say, Jeff L. should not be in any camp.

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  29. i agree about orozco. people are acting like he is bornstein. the guy is solid and playing in a new system with new teammates.

    i will have to disagree on the beasley to LB comment though.

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  30. dude, you’re assessment on fiscal is crap. he is a solid defender. as for Larentowicz, i couldn’t agree more! Sasha should be there over him.

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  31. he won’t go. mexico isn’t interested, they have their own options for CB coming up from the youth ranks. he’s simply putting pressure on JK. i think JK should have called him and john in though. i know his quote says he doesn’t want to change it up too much, and it’s only the THIRD camp, but i think it’s fair to call them in. but i also think fiscal has deserved his spot too. ream, while he hasn’t played great, clearly looks good to multiple coaches. so i understand why he keeps getting the call. but still, i think OG and GJ deserve a look…and they’ll probably get one.

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  32. I used to think the same thing — that he had similar touch to Gooch. This season, however, Gonzalez’s touch and distribution have improved dramatically. He’s a smart defender, a monster in the air, good with his feet and a true prospect. He’s gotten better every year since he came into MLS. He deserves a chance. My hope is that Klinsmann will give him a phone call and tell him that he will be part of the January camp.

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  33. well if you read the majority of reviews, fiscal has received decent marks. i still think OG should be considered, but fiscal is just as deserving.

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  34. Whether they are the best “right now” are not is irrelevant. I question Klinsi’s tact on this one, there was really no need to call those three players out and offend them that way. That said, it is plenty early to be worried about his player call ups. Gonzo is 22 (23 now?) and young for a defender. I would hope that Klinsi would say something to the extent “we are pleased with the way he is developing and will continue to monitor his progress.” That’s what Bob would have said.

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  35. @ Khan: if we lose Gonzalez, who has been far better than Ream this year and is TWO YEARS YOUNGER than Klinsmann has done US Soccer a great disservice.

    @ hogatroge: Subotic was in the system, until he wasn’t. Rongen’s fault.

    Why does a new manager crow about the need for consistency? Now is the chance to see new players and, equally as important, CAP players that need to be capped.

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