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Omar Gonzalez leaves Galaxy-Rapids match at halftime with knee injury

Omar Gonzalez

Photo by David Bernal/


Just six weeks before the World Cup is not a good time to be picking up injuries, and that time frame might have been why U.S. national team centerback Omar Gonzalez was pulled from Saturday’s  LA Galaxy-Colorado Rapids match at halftime.

Gonzalez left the match due to a knee injury, though the substitution was reported as a precautionary move.

“Omar, I think, is going to be fine,” Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena said after the match.

Projected to be a starter for the USMNT at the World Cup, Gonzalez has had his share of struggles in recent months, but was having a good game for the Galaxy against Colorado before being replaced by Kofi Opare at halftime.

The Rapids beat the Galaxy, 1-0, with Vicente Sanchez scoring the winning goal.

Gonzalez’s injury comes in the next to last match Gonzalez is scheduled to play with the Galaxy before joining the USMNT for training camp later this month. The national team’s pre-World Cup camp is set to begin on May 15th.


  1. Besler and Cameron are my #1 CB pair right now. Gonzo is too prone to ball watching. He will lose his mark constantly against our WC opponents.

  2. I don’t like to see a player injured, but if this means that we get to see more CB combinations from the group of Cameron, Besler, Brooks, Orozco, Goodson and Parkhurst, with Fabian and Timmy at fullback, I’m not overly down about it.

    • Did you see Goodson last night? Brooks against Ukraine? Cameron against Honduras? Every CB in our pool are just as mistake prone as Omar if not more so. We have just focused in on Omar while the others players mistakes go unnoticed.

      • Everybody makes mistakes. Often, that means technical errors—e.g., poor first touch. It also often means poor tactical decisions—e.g., too much dribbling. It can also mean decisions based on poor field awareness—e.g., letting a winger in behind the defense, or not seeing a good opportunity to pass.

        Then there are the mental lapses: ball watching, panicky long balls, crossing in front of your goal, chasing the ball instead of sticking to your man, not following up on shots to get the rebound, etc.

        It is the latter type that I think frustrate fans the most. I also think that most of Omar’s mistakes fall into that category.

      • The national team gave up 6 goals in the nine qualifiers that Omar played. The Galaxy this year have given up 5 goals in 6 games. Jurgen gave lots op CB their chance prior to even calling Omar (and Besler) into camp so I don’t think Jurgen has any particular attachment to him. While we all wish that we could call up Thiago Silva and Pepe we’re stuck with Omar…..if we’re lucky

      • I feel like Omar almost gets more blame because he’s always almost there. Where Oguchi, Cameron and Brooks are often left standing around looking at each other as a player runs in on goal alone no where near making a play. Then no one is really sure whose fault it is because it’s been so messed up.
        If people really want to start Cameron they should go back and watch the Scotland match where Omar cleaned up a number of Cameron’s mistakes.

      • Pretty spot on Googley Eye.
        The latter is Gonzo’s and just about everyone’s blunder at times.
        The have to cover the rebound, and the goal line. How many times do you see teams save there bacon off a goal line stand, accept for this team.
        When all breaks down, got to cover that goal line.

    • It’s insane to speculate that at this late juncture Klinsmann would call in uncapped players. It ain’t gonna happen, no matter how deserving they may be. A month before the World Cup is not when you begin experimenting with new players.

  3. With so many unknowns heading into camp, I’d have to quote Clarence Whorley…. I’d rather have em and not need em instead of needing em and not having em

  4. Did everyone see Omar run away from the ball on the goal Colorado scored? What about the chip into the box where he stopped and left the ball for the attacker to almost put away? What about all the times he’s running towards his own goal and instead of playing the keeper he boots it out of bounds?
    He’s just not good enough right now to be a starting CB in the World Cup…but I also remember watching Brad Guzman playing dodgeball for Chivas USA and look at him now. So maybe in 4 years Omar will be the man just not this WC

  5. My take on the galaxy side:
    – Leonardo looked even more awful than usual
    – Gargan looked like a RM he was forward so often
    – LD looked much sharper through the first 60-70 but it looked like the altitude/fitness got the best o him by the end (looking more & more like a super sub for WC)
    – (this will probably get me flamed) Keane really isn’t looking sharp, losing a lot of balls, missing shots he used to make, service not Keane-esque. I’m a big fan but he’s just not the same dude
    – Juninho looked pretty incredible
    – did I mention how awful Leonardo looked?!

    • Agreed on Leonardo and Keane. Leonardo is garbage and it’s mind-boggling how he keeps getting starts.
      I feel Keane overcomplicates himself especially when he tries to take on defenders that are a lot more athletic and physical than him.

    • agree with much of this Freddy Adu though I’d say LD looked fit all match, and more than that, showed numerous bursts of the speed he supposedly has lost. Keane has had sharp games and then not sharp, inconstant so far, I agree with you. makes me wonder about those achilles and their part in this if any, but he has had patches like this before when he had many chances and wasn’t finishing yet turned it around. we’ll see.

      Juninho had perhaps his best game this year, great to see

      on PKs, was hoping LD would get it, score the historical goal and get it behind him, and let’s move on.

      • Funny, how if RK nails is PK’s then the Galaxy are undefeated and we could justifiably say that the “Friendly Flop” is the Galaxy’s most potent weapon. But fear not Galaxy fans, Robbie Rogers is now fit to play and will soon make everybody forget…..what’s his name?….couldn’t have been that good if I can’t remember.

      • funny 🙂

        unfortunately he did miss them tho. Good news for us Galaxy fans is all the chances being created. Keane’ll get it going more than liklely. Rodgers? he’s the joke end of the worst trade in MLS history

      • Galaxy are going to require a reboot inevitably, if perhaps not in the next two years. The championsip sides have lost Beckham and Magee and have added nothing meaningful. The team is still very decent but I don’t see a title in the Arena/Donovan/Keane era unless they add multiple pieces… not even sure if that’s worth it.

      • could be. Losing Franklin has been another key nightmare, reshuffled the entire back line, and Dunivant has been hurt. That’s the bigger worry to me, the new pieces in back

      • I’m not too worried about the back line because they have allowed only 5 goals in 6 games. They just don’t have much of a bite up top.

      • Please refresh our memory. The only time Edu can be said that he was at fault was mistiming a bad bounce that the forward made one push move to the right and cracked a nice shot from around the 18. Other than that, he has played great the few times he was put at CB including 2 Mexico games.

  6. Brutal for gonz. Is it the same knee he hurt in Germany?

    A minor tweak he might be ok in a couple weeks…. Otherwise with a 4-6 week injury what does klins do?

    • What should JK do? He should pick a better option… one that doesnt cost us at least a goal a game. Don’t want to see him hurt but it may just force JK to do the right thing anyway

      • There are no options that are difinitifely better. If there were people wouldn’t debate the cb position so much

      • Duke,

        What exactly is the “right thing”?

        I have advocated leaving Gonzo home but, at this point, losing him to a knee injury would be a very bad thing. Gonzo has been inconsistent leading up to the World Cup.

        But what he has going FOR him, besides his undoubted talent, is that he has the most experience at CB with Timmy and Besler, two guys who will most likely be starting. And with the other likely starters.
        ON PAPER the US already has at best one tie and two losses in the Death Group.

        And on paper the US has the least talented team.

        To advance then, the US will have to, as a team, play over their heads. And as someone pointed out to me a while ago, the players most likely to do that are the current starters.

        For example, Chad Marshall who for all his skill and his good play, has virtually no experience with this team in a position where communication with your teammates is critical. Plus Chad has nearly zero international experience and you would be throwing him in against some of the best in the business in the Death Group.
        On SBI the rule is one bad game changing error gets you banned for life from the USMNT. On that basis, probably none of the projected starters would be going to Brazil.

        So the question is are Gonzo/ Besler the pair most LIKELY to produce the three all time great performances that will almost certainly be required to get out of the Group?

        The games leading up to this next send off series and the three Group games are now irrelevant, basically they were practice for the World Cup.

        If you want to be optimistic, unlikely on SBI, you can believe that the starters have been learning from this “rehearsal” and are building up to the three group games. The foundation for the “team chemistry” has been steadily put in place over the last two years and this camp and the send – off series will be where the final pieces are put in place.

        To those of you who cry about why this hasn’t happened before now I would say because it couldn’t.

        Compared to Germany or the other Big Boy pants teams, the US has a very hard time getting their core players together on a regular basis. Which is why JK and BB before him have stuck to some basic playing styles and philosophy. Most likely the camp and the three games will be a very intense time, when JK and his staff will determine everyone’s final fitness levels , adjust accordingly, and then install their game plans with whatever assorted wrinkles they need.

        If it all goes well, I suspect the USMNT will look very different in Brazil.

      • GW: I agree and disagree.

        First, I agree that team chemistry is important, especially at centerback. Thus, bringing a new member in late is risky.

        Second, I agree that Omar is consistently inconsistent. I also agree that “On SBI the rule is one bad game changing error gets you banned for life from the USMNT,” (and that this rule is unreasonable).

        But I disagree with the implication that bringing in Chad Marshall this late in the preparations would be a bad idea. True, he would not have the chemistry and communication with Besler and Howard (and Jones and Bradley). But there are good reasons to think that he would not be subject to the same mental lapses the Omar makes (both for club and country).

        So there’s a trade-off: do you want someone you know and expect errors from, or someone you don’t know who won’t make errors? I don’t think it’s an easy answer—which is why I would at least hope that Marshall gets a chance in camp. Let him scrimmage a few times with Besler—maybe Besler actually finds it easier to communicate with someone who makes no mistakes; he knows Chad will be where he’s supposed to be, so they don’t have to rely so much on communication.

        I’m just saying “maybe.”

        Lastly, I think chemistry can be over-hyped, solely because inevitably in a tournament like this someone gets injured before or during and suddenly your CB pair or your forward tandem or whoever gets broken up. Besler-Gonzo have a lot of time together, but what of their backups? Of the remaining pool, only Goodson has any recent team experience. Orozco and Brooks have a bit, and Gooch has some recent and a lot a long time ago. Ream has a tiny bit. What that all adds up to is that if you can’t play Brooks-Gonzo with all their chemistry, then chemistry is pretty much no longer a factor in the decision (unless you go with Goodson).

      • KGE,

        If a new guy can do something for the team that the current guys need and can’t get anywhere else and he can prove to them that he will produce, he will have instant “chemistry” with them. That is what chemistry means to me. It’s why I think chemistry is not an issue with a guy like Green. If the players think Green can give them that late game offensive burner that Shea apparently won’t be able to then they will be fine with him.

        But the players and coaching staff will understand this better and regulate it better than you or me.

        I don’t have anything against Chad or any of these other suggested Gonzo replacements per se.
        He obviously has found a good home with the Sounder defense and staff but that doesn’t mean he will find a good home with the USMNT defense and staff.

        How do you know Chad won’t make errors with the USMNT? Everyone makes errors and if they haven’t yet they will eventually. The question is “are your contributions more valuable than your errors are detrimental”. Where do I go to find that out about Chad Marshall in the next two weeks? Are you going to bet money that he won’t commit a Gonzo/Clark/Bornstein level life banning hall of shame error? Rico Clark was a pretty dammed good defensive midfielder for the USMNT before Mikey set him up for that big error. Brave man you are.

        And having Chad take a test drive with his potential new team mates at this point will take time and effort that I am not sure the USMNT has. Because frankly there are probably a number of guys who you can argue might also work out in that case. Beyond the candidates already on the team, guys you can try out as center backs include Marshall, Schuler, O’Neill, Spector, Packwood, Whitbread, etc., etc. ad nauseam.

        It’s too bad George John was not the Superman center back boosted 335 kept claiming he was.
        At some point you have to decide if it is better to keep turning over rocks and keep playing the field or finally focus on the girl who brung you to the dance.

        And I’m not 100% convinced that Omar is completely at fault for his mistakes. As someone else pointed out, he is around so much he is always on the scene when a crime is committed so he must be the murderer. In other words defense is a team thing and a break down somewhere on the field can often have consequences at the other end. The 2002 team did well because their defense and midfield led by Reyna, JOB, Sanneh, Pablo and Eddie, etc., etc. meshed very well. And Donovan and McBride were so lethal that they stretched opposing teams and helped keep pressure off the US defense. And they had a great keeper.

        Yes, they were a really good team all around. I think that is what JK is trying to build, not the perfect back 4 or the perfect midfield, he’s trying to build a team.

        SBI fans think this is the NFL and that there are discrete offensive, defensive and special teams units on a soccer team. Well, guess what, there aren’t really. Charlie Davies helped make the Spain win possible if only because his threat kept Ramos honest. Defense is inextricably tied to your offense in soccer in a much more immediate way than it is in the NFL.

        To paraphrase Louie Van Gaal, the second Howard makes the save and has the ball the US is on offense and the second Clint’s shot is saved by the other keeper every single USMNT player is now on defense.

        To contradict myself and cite another sport, in the NHL they call it fore checking. Hockey rinks are much smaller and they have unlimited subs and shift lines in the NHL but the concept is sound. Joe Morrone of UCONN back in the late 70’s used hockey concepts to build an NCAA soccer power. He had checking lines, forward lines to play corner stall ball specifically to waste time and forward lines to score, etc., etc., Talk about specialization. But off course we don’t have those rules in the World Cup.
        Still the basic fact remains that, to beat the big boys, the US will have to play offense as a team and defense as a team. And have a great keeper like the 2002 boys.

        This USMNT edition has had very few chances for the A team to mesh together. I submit that if JK finally has all his big boys for a month and three exhibition games they can finally all put their big boy pants on together as a team. If that happens overall team speed for one example, will increase because maybe everyone will finally know where and when to run to and so on.

        What is clear to me is that we have yet to see the team that JK will eventually field in Brazil. Partly due to circumstances and partly due to design he has never had the team he will now have access to for about a month and three exhibition games.

        JK has about two weeks to pick his 30 man list. You can’t try out everyone

        Two quotes from George Patton apply here “A good plan, violently executed now, is better than a perfect plan next week.” and “If everybody is thinking alike, then somebody isn’t thinking”.

      • GW,

        You’ve said a lot that I fully agree with. I hope you suspected that as you wrote it. I guess my only disagreements are where you seem to have misinterpreted my point and where, when faced with a choice between “the devil you know vs the devil you don’t,” you ultimately go with a different choice than I would make.

        For starters, I understand your definition of “chemistry.” That is not how I was using the term. (The way you define it, I would simply call “professionalism.”) I was using it to refer to the unspoken communication that develops between players where they just know what the other is thinking—like a couple who can complete each other’s sentences. For example: when a CB doesn’t have to look over his shoulder to know where his other CB will be; he just knows. This kind of {insert whatever term you choose} usually takes time to develop, and it’s what I know Marshall (and Brooks, Gooch, et al.) do not have with Besler.

        “But the players and coaching staff will understand this better and regulate it better than you or me.”

        Granted. But we have to ignore that fact a little, otherwise all our discussion are no fun! 😉

        “…doesn’t mean [Chad] will find a good home with the USMNT defense and staff.”

        Agreed. That’s why I said, “maybe.” If he doesn’t go to camp, then we will never know. If he goes to camp and doesn’t make the 23-man, then I will be content: I will know that he got a look. That’s all I’m hoping for (for now).

        “How do you know Chad won’t make errors with the USMNT?”

        I do not know and I didn’t mean to say otherwise. Re-reading my comment, I can see where I was sloppy. When I said he made “no errors,” I didn’t mean to say that Marshall is “perfect.” Sorry that I did not make myself clear.

        What I do believe is that he would not make the magnitude of errors we have seen from Omar, Gooch, Goodson, and Brooks. In short, I think he would be about as error-prone, in frequency and severity, as Besler—and thus pair very nicely with him. (I also think their styles would nicely complement one another.)

        Seattle’s defense has let in 13 goals this season—not the most in the league, but it’s up there and on par with bottom-table teams. But as I’ve said elsewhere: Marshall is 3/4 of Seattle’s defense. Traore is very error-prone and Remick and Yedlin are constantly bombing forward leaving the two CBs behind. On top of that, Sigi has the two CBs attacking often too. (Traore almost scored/drew a penalty off a counterattack last night!) Marshall has been the savior of that defense.

        “Where do I go to find that out about Chad Marshall in the next two weeks?”

        Put him in camp. That’s all I ask.

        “having Chad take a test drive…will take time and effort that I am not sure the USMNT has.”

        I agree—just like I believe that it is never a good time to have to put out a house fire. So it’s not a question of what we have time to do, but of what we have no better choice than to do. The other candidates you mention are all good, but as I said above, something about Marshall’s style of play reminds me of Besler’s style—like they would gel.

        “SBI fans think this is the NFL….”

        This is where I think you started to write things that weren’t directed to me—and which I completely agree with.

        “What is clear to me is that we have yet to see the team that JK will eventually field in Brazil.”

        I think this is due to what you say and also partly a training ploy by JK: it’s his own twist on the “total football” revolution. I also think he intends to play significantly different lineups for each group stage match and has no intention of showing his hand ahead of time. (As much as us fans are dying to know what lineup he will choose, Ghana’s coaches are even more interested!)

      • KGE,

        You approach this as a player agent, angling for a shot for his guy.

        I see this more from a management standpoint.

        Unfortunately for you, Marshall’s alleged attributes amount to a hunch on your part. Worse, they are intangible and verifying them would use up critical time and space, in an exhibition game. That is time and attention that might be better spent on whipping this 30 man crew into shape. A month seems like a long time but it really isn’t.

        For example, it seems clear to me that JK did not really want to bring 30. He originally said he wanted to go to camp with just 28. You’d think he’d want the options but it seems as if, health questions aside, at this point he looks like he wants to get on with it rather than waste valuable time trying to decide between two or three guys who probably won’t even make the 23.

        “If he doesn’t go to camp, then we will never know. If he goes to camp and doesn’t make the 23-man, then I will be content: I will know that he got a look. That’s all I’m hoping for (for now)….Put him in camp. That’s all I ask.”

        Actually you are asking for a king’s
        ransom for your peace of mind.

        Invitations to the USMNT and to this camp should be exceptionally difficult to get. Especially for this team and this camp; it is likely that every minute will count, which is why I don’t agree with the asinine notion that some young player should be brought to camp to audit the World Cup experience. If you really want to do that bring the player to Brazil as a ball boy or a trainer but World Cup player slots are invaluable. A lot of great players, guys like Ryan Giggs, never got close to one.
        I get that the #22 and 23 guy will most likely will not play but they might. And if they are playing most likely the US will either be playing a minnow (not happening) or desperate (more likely). The third possibility is that they would be a wild card, a joker like Shea or Green. And for JK to not choose them and prepare them as if they were going to play would be the sort of failure to pay attention to detail that he preaches against. It sets a bad example.

        As they say “it is better to have more gun than you need than to need more gun than you have”.

        Again, if JK takes him to camp I’m fine with that but, in my view Marshall has no reason to complain if JK leaves him behind w/o inviting him to camp.

        It was Chad after all who took his sweet time getting into this kind of form which at this point amounts to a tease. Long enough to be promising but not long enough to be definitive. Chad Marshall made the 30 man list in 2010 so he knows the drill. He has had since the end of the last World Cup to impress JK so if he does not make it he’ll have no one to blame but himself.

        JK and his staff have a lot to get to. I believe he knows most of his 23 and he probably knows who his wild card (s) will be. I’m hoping they can get the individual questions out of the way as fast as possible and focus on what really matters, the unit.

        I was lucky enough to have watched JK play for Germany more than a few times.

        He talks all that pretty football nonsense but as a player his Germany teams were all about winning by any means necessary. They had a sociopath named Jens Jeremies, who makes J Jones look serene and measured by comparison, as their enforcer. They were involved in some of the most brutal, violent World Cup games I have seen. And they successfully played many midfielders out of position.

        His teams were brutal to play against and sometimes brutal to watch but they mostly won. I can guarantee you he is not going to Brazil to do anything other than win every game. And, whatever it takes, he’s not going there to be embarrassed.

      • GW: great reply. You’re absolutely right about this being on Chad, not JK—and I’m not going to get all bitter and complaining or decry JK if Chad doesn’t (miraculously) get called in.

        (Besides, the Sounders will suffer enough without Dempsey and Evans for a month or more, so I’m not anxious to add Chad—and maybe Yedlin—to that.)

        I will just point out that, given my name, I am well within my rights to ask for a king’s anything.

      • Hey Duke,

        You may or may not like Gonzo but he does not cost us at least a goal a game. In the 10 hex games we allowed a grand total of 8 goals total and Omar played every second (the only one). This season the Galaxy have given up 5 goals in 6 games and despite popular rumor, it isn’t because Leonardo is carrying the team.

      • Actually Omar didn’t start the final 2 matches of the Hex after we were qualified, and we allowed 2 in the final one at Panama.

  7. Chad Marshall call up by Jurgen? I kid, I kid!!…..He did get the winner tonight vs Philly and seems to have rejuvenated himself in Seattle…..

    • Not sure he rejuvenated himself. He’s always been a very good defender and very strong in the air, he’s just getting seen more now that he’s in Seattle

      • Marshal should get extra credit for blocking all the incoming shots the other teams take off Traore’s service.

    • This injury should force Klinsmann to give a serious look at our other CB options: Cameron, Goodson, Brooks, Ream, Orozco, Onyewu… to partner with Besler.

    • umm no.

      Landy, regardless of your opinion of Gonzalez, how could you rejoice when any player gets injured?

      you are a classless p.o.s. if you are happy about an injury, especially one to a player that might miss out on a life long dream to play in the pinnacle event of his sport.

      • are you asking if I think someone should kill Omar Gonzales, no.

        However, if Christiano Ronaldo were to die in a freak gasoline fight accident, I can’t say I would be upset…. only if its before the world cup, though, otherwise, it’d be a sad day for football.

      • You just need to look at his screen name to know he’s a classless POS – why feed the petty, little troll

    • I wouldn’t even be happy about one of our WC opponents getting injured, let alone one of our own players.

      • Well, I dunno about that… I wont much mind if KP Boeteng gets hurt. Or maybe the flu for Ronaldo on a certain day.

      • I’m only speaking for myself. I never want any player to get injured unless he consistently injures others. As for CR getting sick, I also don’t want that. I would rather watch my team lose to a great team than triumph over a weakened, sick team and come away with a “win*”—with asterisk attached.

    • Could be that he felt some discomfort so they took him out to be safe. Perhaps in other circumstances, like a final, or playoff game, he’d stay in. Not that tough to understand.

    • A “precautionary knee injury” would be if you intentionally hurt someone’s knee before he could do something you really didn’t want him to do—like beat you in a karate competition, Daniel-san.

      But Ives didn’t write that the “knee injury was precautionary.” He wrote that “the substitution was…precautionary.”


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