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Movement in the LA Galaxy-Omar Gonzalez situation

May 20, 2013, 1:47 PM EDT

Will Gonzalez lead LA to another MLS Cup this season? Getty Images

LA Galaxy center back is good at two things. Well, probably more … but these two we know about:

Dominating games as one of Major League Soccer’s elite center backs, and; not tipping his hand to what’s going on with his career direction.

He has always been politely demur about what might happen once his current deal with the Galaxy expires, which happens at the end of this season.

While the rest of us wondered aloud about the U.S. international and the next step in his rising career – Stay here on a DP deal? Something just short of that? Take a deal abroad that would almost surely be more lucrative? – the Texas native quietly went about his business and declined to comment on what’s ahead.

Sunday, following the Galaxy loss, he did let slip to LA Galaxy blogger Adam Serrano that he has begun the talks that might, at least, keep Gonzalez in Major League Soccer:

There has been some talks [with LA]. I went to lunch one day and started that process, but that’s about as far as it’s gone. Right now, I’m just worried about playing and I’ll let my agent take care of that. Hopefully, we can figure something out.”

Gonzalez is a bit of a homebody. He never struck me as someone who needs the glitz and glamour of European soccer to be happy.

But that doesn’t mean that he should take 50-60 cents on the dollar for proper contract value.

He would be Major League Soccer’s first DP center back if the money gets to the that level, which it probably should. Conventional wisdom around MLS is that center backs can be found for less money. Then again, Gonzalez is hardly a conventional center back.

  1. dfstell - May 20, 2013 at 2:22 PM

    It isn’t so much that a CB isn’t “worth DP money”, it’s whether it’s worth burning a DP slot. You only have 3 slots and the Galaxy have shown that they can afford to pay $3-5MM to each DP. That is one of their large advantages over the rest of the league and they kinda waste it if they have a DP who “only” makes $800K or so. It just isn’t maximizing their resources. For $5MM/year, you can hire world class CBs. Omar is really good, but he isn’t world class yet.

    • charliej11 - May 20, 2013 at 2:33 PM

      Yes and no. It has been proven that LA needs an Omar G quality player in the back to win. If you disagree with that you are wrong. So now why don’t you pay him ?

      I don’t think you do much better paying $3-5mm a year for a CB, who is willing to pack up and move. Do you ?

    • bellerophon30 - May 20, 2013 at 6:06 PM

      I agree with you on that one, unless the change in management (though not ownership) at Galaxy means that 1 MM a year for a DP is the way to go. Then you re-sign Omar for that amount and be grateful for it.

      But he’s got to at least kick the tires as far as Europe goes, especially given that he can leave on a free transfer in January. That gives him the whip hand over the Galaxy (and MLS) that Cameron and Shea, among others, didn’t have. The work permit will be a question in England, but if Ream got one……..

      But either way Omar could be the highest level permanent departure (American) from MLS since Deuce. The interest in him from Europe will tell us a lot about how MLS is perceived.

  2. danielofthedale - May 20, 2013 at 2:38 PM

    As a fan of MLS I am glad to hear that he is at least entertaining the idea of sticking around LA. If you think that Matt Besler just did the same thing with SKC that means our best CB’s could be playing here at home and that might be the start of keeping a few more of the best American players here in MLS and helping grow the league with a better talent base.

    However as a US National Team fan I am bit more conflicted about this. Omar moving to Europe would most likely mean facing better competition on a regular bases. Which should lead to him improving his overall game and making the US National Team better with that improvement. That better US National Team leads to more interest in the sport in general and gets more kids playing which leads to bigger crowds in the stadium and on TV which leads to better salary and being able to increase the talent level on MLS teams.

    But maybe I have been wrong with this line of thinking and keeping our best players in MLS would do more to get more people to the stadium and watch on TV and get that increase in media coverage and salary to grow the game.

  3. jesse2629 - May 20, 2013 at 3:05 PM

    I want to keep talent in MLS. I think this is the best way to go for the overall growth of our national team; build up a string Domestic League system. It works for all the huge teams in the world. It will be a slow process but i think in the long run totally worth it.

  4. unitedlee - May 21, 2013 at 11:26 AM

    I hope Omar stays and helps the league grow and improves as a player as Landon Donovan did in MLS. It certainly has never hindered him at the International level (:

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