Join Now  | 
Home About Contact Us Privacy & Security Advertise
Soccer America Daily Soccer World Daily Special Edition Around The Net Soccer Business Insider College Soccer Reporter Youth Soccer Reporter Soccer on TV Soccer America Classifieds Game Report
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalk Soccer America Confidential Youth Soccer Insider World Cup Watch
RSS Feeds Archives Manage Subscriptions Subscribe
Order Current Issue Subscribe Manage My Subscription Renew My Subscription Gift Subscription
My Account Join Now
Tournament Calendar Camps & Academies Soccer Glossary Classifieds
Gonzalez takes DP deal to stay with Galaxy
by Ridge Mahoney, August 16th, 2013 12:01AM
Subscribe to Soccer America Daily

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.


1 comment
  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
What They're Saying: Joe Greenspan    
"Luckily, the higher ups in the Navy and the government made the decision to say we ...
Orlando City: Kaka has no plans of leaving    
Kaka says offseason reports out of Brazil that he'll leave Orlando City at the end of ...
Canada: Ten MLS players named for Bermuda friendly    
Toronto FC teammates Jonathan Osorio and Tosiant Ricketts lead a Canada squad that includes younger players ...
MLS Expansion: Tuesday is key day for stadium projects    
MLS expansion bidders are rushing to garner support for their stadium plans before the league's Jan. ...
MLS Business: MNUFC hits Target with jersey sponsor    
That famous bulls-eye known to shoppers around the country will be prominently displayed on an MLS ...
What They're Saying: Arsene Wenger    
"Offside is what makes the team be together. It's a big quality of a team sport. ...
MLS Moves: Galaxy uses TAM again on Joao Pedro    
In the space of just a few days, the Galaxy has completely revamped its midfield. After ...
Datebook: MLS preseason schedules    
MLS players will begin returning to their clubs as soon as Saturday. The first preseason friendly ...
Video Pick: Coaches make fools of themselves    
Honduras coach Jorge Luis Pinto and his Panama counterpart Bolillo Gomez fail the role-model test when ...
What They're Saying: Ryan Hollingshead    
"Originally when I hit the concrete I was like, 'I'm going to be out for years ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives