For months, fans wondered why Omar Gonzalez had not been called up to the U.S. National team. However, in the MLS offseason, the Los Angeles Galaxy centerback was finally named to Jurgen Klinsmann's squad for January camp and friendlies. Now, it appears the defender has withdrawn from the camp to go on loan with FC Nürnberg.
Along with Gonzalez, George John has also withdrawn from the camp. In their place, Klinsmann called up Seattle Sounders' players Brad Evans and Jeff Parke. It is said Gonzalez will be on loan until at least mid-February. The defender has already traveled to the club's winter training camp in Belek, Turkey.
Gonzalez was the 2011 MLS Defender of the Year. He has two caps with the USMNT. His call up to the team has been highly anticipated. When I heard the news, I was excited. However, I imagine this won't be the last opportunity for the centerback to play for the U.S. team. This loan is one that will keep him in good shape for the upcoming MLS season.
With Galaxy players like Landon Donovan and possibly Robbie Keane going on loan, it's not surprising to see another Los Angeles player follow suit. The idea that many of our players are being pursued for loans reveals the talent of our squad.
It's not uncommon for players to have to withdraw from a camp. Sometimes, injuries, opportunities and other commitments override the call up. In fact, in Nov. our own Landon Donovan had to withdraw from the U.S. friendly against France. The Galaxy had just made it to the MLS Cup final and Donovan, most likely, wanted to be with his team to prepare for the competition.
The U.S. camp is set to run from January 3-26. While I was looking forward to seeing Gonzo represent the Galaxy, I'll still be watching and hoping to see A.J. DeLaGarza out on the pitch for the friendlies. As for Gonzalez, I hope he gets another opportunity to show Klinsmann he has what it takes to be on the roster for the USMNT.
Melissa Matters is a long time Los Angeles resident and devoted Los Angeles Galaxy fan.