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."
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.