It is official: Los Angeles Galaxy defender Omar Gonzalez will be with the USA Men’s National Teamof their 2014 FIFA World Cup Qualifying match with Honduras. Other notable MLS players joining the USA Men include Sporting Kansas City defender Matt Besler, Houston Dynamo midfielder Brad Davis and Seattle Sounders defender Brad Evans.
U.S. ROSTER BY POSITION (World Cup qualifying Caps/Goals)
GOALKEEPERS (3) : Brad Guzan (Aston Villa – 5/3 SO), Tim Howard (Everton – 22/9 SO), Sean Johnson (Chicago Fire – 0/0)
DEFENDERS (9) : Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City – 0/0), Carlos Bocanegra (Racing Santander – 31/5), Geoff Cameron (Stoke City – 5/0), Edgar Castillo (Club Tijuana – 0/0), Timmy Chandler (Nürnberg – 0/0), Brad Evans (Seattle Sounders – 0/0), Omar Gonzalez (LA Galaxy – 0/0), Fabian Johnson (Hoffenheim – 3/0), Michael Parkhurst (Augsburg – 3/0)
MIDFIELDERS (8) : Michael Bradley (Roma – 19/5), Brad Davis (Houston Dynamo – 0/0), Maurice Edu (Bursaspor – 9/0), Jermaine Jones (Schalke 04 – 5/0), Sacha Kljestan (Anderlecht – 12/0), Jose Torres (Tigres UANL – 9/0), Danny Williams (Hoffenheim – 4/0), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City – 3/0)
FORWARDS (4 ): Jozy Altidore (AZ Alkmaar – 17/6), Clint Dempsey (Tottenham Hotspur – 26/10), Herculez Gomez (Santos Laguna – 6/2), Eddie Johnson (Seattle Sounders – 11/10)
Former USA Men’s National Coach and current Galaxy boss Bruce Arena knew it was coming and was unsurprisingly satisfied with the call-up.
“It’ll be a good opportunity for him. It’s a little late, I think he should have been in that mix much earlier,” said Arena to LAGalaxy.com’s Adan Serrano. “And I’m hopeful that he gets some quick experience and eventually be a fixture for the team.
“San Pedro Sula is a tough place, I’ve had a qualifier there. Guatemala, Honduras, Costa Rica is a little bit more under control now. I think in the early days, CONCACAF didn’t have a handle on a lot of stuff in the qualifying. it was like the Wild West. It’s a little bit more structured now and it’s a safer more productive environment for the players, but it’s all difficult.”
“It is exciting for us to see players like Omar now being ready for the international level,” USA manager Jurgen Klinsmann told MLSSoccer.com’s Simon Borg.
For Galaxy midfielder Mike Magee, now is the time to finally take initiative and lead by example heading into his fifth season with Los Angeles. Of course, this is Mike Magee the View from Avalon is talking about, so…no sweat, right?
“You got to get your mind right. As I get older, you start to remember all the times that you didn’t want to train and you look at a guy, a veteran like [Paris St. Germain midfielder] David [Beckham] who has been there in the past. He’s always set the tone and you see the professionalism that he gives day in and day out and the competitiveness,” said Magee to Serrano. “When he’s not here, then you need to make up for that.
“Obviously, I’m not claiming to step into his shoes, but myself and a couple of other guys, we can collectively try to bring that and show the young guys what we were shown when we got here.
“I try to drop lines to all the young guys because since I got here, that’s what guys have done to me. So whenever I have the chance then I’m going to do it. Bruce and the coaching staff have done a good job getting some young kids who are good athletes and good players so when you look around; you see a lot of bright futures.”
The Los Angeles Galaxy open up their season against the Chicago Fire at the Home Depot Center on Mar. 3.