It seems this time the rumors were true surrounding LA Galaxy’s third Designated Player. It was formally announced today that Omar Gonzalez is the third and final DP for LA, and the first American defender to get the coveted spot. The process has been going on for the past seven months and both sides finally came to an agreement earlier this week. Omar was drafted in 2009 and ever since then he has been a driving force in the defense, and lately he’s been a huge point for the USMNT. Having Omar grow up in the US and start out with Generation Adidas is a huge deal to any American soccer player. Bruce Arena compared this signing to that of Man United’s young academy of Beckham, Giggs, and the Neville brothers. Bruce went on to rave about how quality of a player Omar is and how important this signing means to the whole team and MLS.
Omar was also excited and he stated, “I think the support from everyone has been amazing, it’s really an honor to be named third DP. I’m excited to take on the task and go for that third consecutive cup. I’ll put in harder work and try to get better. After looking at all of my options I think I made the best decision by staying… I couldn’t be happier.” His deciding factor was that he felt that he was wanted in LA and by staying he sees himself getting better and helping the league grow, which is something he has wanted to do for a while. Omar apparently had offers from all around the World but before he made the decision he spoke to Jurgen Klinsmann to get his opinion. The USMNT coach told Omar that it was “fine if he stayed in MLS” and that statement helped Omar make his final decision.
On a personal level I’m not sure how I feel about this… Sure it’s a big thing to keep him around, but giving up the last DP spot for a defender? There is no doubt that Omar deserved a raise, but how much money is he getting from this in order for him to be a DP?! It’s making me scratch my head in confusion. I get he’s a huge part of the team and keeping him was something that everyone wanted to do but was he worth the third DP spot? There are so many questions floating around that are unanswered. There are a couple of good sides to this signing; if Omar is called up to the World Cup in 2014 and plays well he can raise the Transfer price instead of being a free transfer. All around it’s a smart move if you pay attention to the little details and the things this can impact in the future… Until then I’ll still be scratching my head because I sure as heck don’t think signing a defender as the third DP is something to rave about.
With personal feelings aside it’s a big day for Omar Gonzalez and LA Galaxy.