Jan 6, 2013, 6:14 PM EST
If we look at the Jurgen Klinsmann’s roster for the January camp (announced earlier today) in terms of “opportunity factor,” the name right at the tippy top of that list belongs to Omar Gonzalez.
All the elements are in place:
There’s a need at the position, given Carlos Bocanegra’s age, the inability of peripheral center back figures like Oguchi Onyewu and Tim Ream to get the kind of minutes that might boost their places in the order, plus other factors.
Clearly, Gonzalez has the talent. The 2011 MLS Defender of the Year and two-time MLS Cup winner, has every single physical tool needed of a center back at highest level.
And the team’s coaching staff – heck, everybody in the U.S. Soccer scene, probably – are cheering for the big fellow.
So, yes, all the elements are in place, creating a high opportunity factor as Gonzalez joins his first extended camp under Klinsmann. If all goes well over the next three weeks, there’s no reason to believe Gonzalez won’t be in the starting lineup on Jan. 29 when the camp concludes with a Jan. 29 friendly against Canada down in Houston.
What does Gonzalez need to demonstrate, exactly, over the next three weeks? Here’s what Klinsmann had to say Sunday during Fox Soccer Channel’s Goals on Sunday show:
He needs to show to us that he is ready. That he is ready for a big step into international football. He needs to show us that he wants to break in. He needs to show that he is ready to guide a back line, and that he is ready to communicate a lot.”
Klinsmann has said repeatedly that Gonzalez would have been involved in the program to a greater degree already but for that serious knee injury from one year ago. Still, the U.S. manager is quite aware of how well L.A.’s back line leader rebounded over the second half of the MLS season. Klinsmann sounds like a guy who wants to be impressed and is hoping to be impressed, and says Gonzalez has all the ability he needs:
But the national team is another level. We are happy to have him finally with us in camp and to see him work on a daily basis.”
Jan 27, 2015, 7:17 PM EST
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Jan 27, 2015, 5:17 PM EST
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Yedlin flies halfway around the world to link up with USMNT after joining Tottenham in January.
Jan 27, 2015, 1:40 PM EST
Brazilian skipper aims to help Brazil win elusive Olympic gold medal on home soil.
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Spaniard set to miss at least six months after rupturing anterior cruciate ligament.
Jan 27, 2015, 12:19 PM EST
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Jan 27, 2015, 11:10 AM EST
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Jan 27, 2015, 10:15 AM EST
Are the Citizens heading to the Big Apple?
Jan 27, 2015, 9:20 AM EST
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Jan 27, 2015, 8:30 AM EST
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Jan 27, 2015, 7:36 AM EST
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Jan 26, 2015, 7:10 PM EST
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Jan 26, 2015, 6:15 PM EST
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Jan 26, 2015, 4:05 PM EST
After eight months without a club, Juan Agudelo is reportedly returning to the place he should have been all along: MLS.
Jan 26, 2015, 2:59 PM EST
As the soccer world will no longer see the maverick skills of the Argentine playmaker, here’s a look at some of his best moments.
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