Omar Gonzalez

  • DOB October 11, 1988
  • Age 28
  • Place of birth Dallas, Texas
  • POSITION Defender
  • HEIGHT 6'5"
  • WEIGHT 210
  • U.S. CAPS 32
  • CLUB Pachuca
  • TWITTER @omar4gonzalez (179K followers)
  • Current ASN 100 Rank 12
  • Previous ASN 100 Rank 10
  • Youth Experience U-17, U-20
To many American supporters, Omar Gonzalez represents the future of the United States back line. He’s a force in the air. He’s calm on the ball. He’s a proven winner. And he has the sort of résumé that portends great things.

A standout at the University of Maryland, Gonzalez won the 2008 College Cup championship and was named a first team All-American. In 2009 the Los Angeles Galaxy drafted Gonzalez third overall and he justified the high pick, earning MLS Rookie of the Year honors. The following season he made his first MLS All-Star game and was named to the MLS Best XI team. Continuing this upward trajectory in 2011, Gonzalez was an all-star, made the Best XI, was named the league’s Defender of the Year, and won an MLS Cup.

Gonzalez was thrust into the World Cup qualifying spotlight in February 2013, starting alongside Matt Besler in San Pedro Sula, Honduras. He didn't have a particularly good game, and neither did the U.S. But Gonzalez solidified his role over the spring and summer and looked to be a starter in Brazil.

But then the six-foot-five defender hit a rough patch. He started making one or two big mistakes per game, often resulting in opponent goals. As it turns out, he got his chance at the 2014 World Cup, playing well in three matches and looking like a part of the U.S. national team's future. —JOHN GODFREY

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