Join Now | 
HomeAboutContact UsPrivacy & SecurityAdvertise
Soccer America DailySpecial EditionAround The NetSoccer Business InsiderCollege Soccer ReporterYouth Soccer ReporterSoccer on TVSoccer America Classifieds
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalkSoccer America ConfidentialYouth Soccer InsiderWorld Cup Watch
RSS FeedsArchivesManage SubscriptionsSubscribe
Order Current IssueSubscribeManage My SubscriptionRenew My SubscriptionGift Subscription
My AccountJoin Now
Tournament CalendarCamps & AcademiesSoccer GlossaryClassifieds
Gonzalez takes DP deal to stay with Galaxy
by Ridge Mahoney, August 16th, 2013 12:01AM

MOST READ
TAGS:  men's national team, mls

MOST COMMENTED

[MLS TRANSACTIONS] To the surprise of nobody, the Galaxy announced Thursday that defender Omar Gonzalez has signed a new contract that increases his compensation into that of a Designated Player.

As is always the case in MLS, this deal creates much speculation. Does it mean Gonzalez commands a seven-figure salary as that earned by Galaxy teammates and co-DPs Landon Donovan and Robbie Keane, or does it mean he earns something closer to the $500,000 threshold (including acquisition costs, such as a signing bonus) that separates DPs from the rank and file?

Either way, it’s a milestone for the league: the first American defender to sign a DP contract with its most glamorous club.

“To be the first Galaxy and U.S. defender to be named as a Designated Player is a great honor for me,” said Gonzalez. “The Galaxy are the premier club in MLS and I'm looking forward to growing as a professional in LA while working towards winning a third consecutive MLS Cup.”

It also doesn’t necessarily mean what many observers are surmising, that Gonzalez will stay with the Galaxy for several more years. (The term of his new deal was not disclosed; most MLS contracts for high-profile players in the early years of their career are four-year deals.) All it means is that if a foreign team opens up a transfer discussion, it will need to pay a lot more to get him.

For now, suitors in Europe and Mexico will have to wait for Gonzalez, with probably the first realistic window for him to leave opening up after the 2014 World Cup, assuming he’s a regular for the national team and performing well. And if such offers are not forthcoming or not sufficient, he's joined an elite level.



Still, it was a day for the Galaxy and MLS to reward themselves as well as one of the top defenders to be produced in recent years.

“We are thrilled that Omar has chosen to remain with the Galaxy and Major League Soccer for years to come,” said Dan Beckerman, CEO of the club’s ownership body, Anschutz Entertainment Group. “Omar's commitment is a clear indication of our continued appeal as a destination for top soccer talent.”

That Gonzalez, 24, has fulfilled the promise and potential he displayed as a youth player and at the University of Maryland is unquestioned. The No. 3 overall pick in the 2009 SuperDraft has been named Rookie of the Year, Defender of the Year in 2011, and an MLS All-Star three times. With him in the lineup, the Galaxy has won back-to-back MLS Cups the past two seasons and also reached the 2009 final against Real Salt Lake that it lost on penalty kicks.

“We are pleased to that Omar will remain with the Galaxy,” said Galaxy head coach and general manager Bruce Arena. “In the past five years, he has arguably developed in to the top defender in MLS. I believe he can continue to grow as a player and leader of our team.” He has played 119 regular-season games for the Galaxy and 17 more in the playoffs.

In the past year he’s established himself with the U.S. national team, playing in all six Hexagonal matches as well as coming on as a late sub in the 2013 Gold Cup final. Ten of his 12 caps have been earned in 2013.

The deal cools, for now, talk of a big foreign signing to take up the DP slot vacated when David Beckham left MLS for French club Paris St. Germain last winter. Frank Lampard, Kaka, Giovani dos Santos, Didier Drogba and several other foreign stars were churned through the rumor mill as serious discussions with Gonzalez commenced.

Donovan’s contract expires in December. Last January Keane signed an extension of undisclosed length believed to be two years plus options.


2 comments
  1. Ric Fonseca
    commented on: August 16, 2013 at 1:28 p.m.
    BRAVO, BRAVISIMO OMAR!!! Just remember: SI SE PUEDE, Y SI SE PUDO!!!

  1. Paul Estrada
    commented on: August 16, 2013 at 8:20 p.m.
    Omar is fine and all, but I just don't see the utility of using a DP spot on a player who has not proven himself in abroad. An American player plying his tried in MLS does not warrant a DP spot, given how few there are. I would have rather seen Omar go abroad. But apparently, LA really needs him, and they have done poorly without him in the lineup.


Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Soccer America Daily
Corona scores in Tijuana's Copa MX win    
[AMERICANS ABROAD] U.S. international Joe Corona scored the winner for Tijuana in its 3-1 win over ...
What They're Saying: Mark Geiger     
"It was very strange, with the way [Brazil] walked out on the field and just their ...
Manchester United wins third tour game in shootout    
[INTERNATIONAL FRIENDLIES] Manchester United won the third game of its U.S. tour with a 5-3 shootout ...
Cuevas gets start in Lobos BUAP victory    
[AMERICANS ABROAD] Former U.S. under-20 national team forward Daniel Cuevas started for Torneo Ascenso (second division) ...
Lots in play on busy MLS Wednesday    
[PREVIEW: Week 21] A Wednesday of four MLS matches makes up for the lightened schedule of ...
Tim Howard returns in booth    
[SOCCER ON THE AIR] Tim Howard will again be spending many of his off-days as part ...
Clubs busy making mid-season player moves    
[MLS: Tuesday] The Philadelphia Union announced a press conference for Wednesday at which time it is ...
U.S. U-17s drop second straight game    
[OPEN NORDIC TOURNAMENT] The U.S. under-17 national team dropped its second game in two days at ...
Zusi celebrates his first post-World Cup goal     
[VIDEO PICK: MLS Goals of the Week] Sporting Kansas City midfielder Graham Zusi scored his second ...
Soccer America Power Rankings    
[MLS: Week 20] In case anyone had forgotten, the Galaxy is still to be reckoned with. ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives