Galaxy’s Gonzalez Wins MLS Rookie of the Year & More

Galaxy central defender Omar Gonzalez, the club’s top draft pick out of Maryland didn’t miss a game for the Galaxy this year and was literally head and shoulders above other candidates.i-928eb32c69d5792f82196318be2633f2-omarrr.jpg

From the Galaxy press release:

The 21-year old defender from Dallas, Texas, becomes the second consecutive Galaxy defender to win the award. Teammate Sean Franklin received the honor in 2008. Gonzalez received the most votes in polling of media, MLS players and MLS coaches and general managers. All first-year players in MLS without previous professional experience were considered for the Rookie of the Year award.

The 6-foot, 5-inch, 210-pound, defender was an imposing force on the backline for the Galaxy this season. His size and range were key factors in the most dramatic defensive turnaround in League history, as the Galaxy allowed only 31 goals in 2009 compared to 62 goals allowed the previous season. Gonzalez also scored one goal and added one assist in his rookie season.

Turning to Friday’s main event in the form of the Galaxy-Dynamo Western Conference final at Home Depot Center:

*The latest claim is that Grant Wahl’s The Beckham Experiment actually bought the team together. Do you buy that?

* The Dynamo expect Friday’s game against the Galaxy to be, um, feisty. Hmmm. Let’s hope it’s more than that.

*Does MLS consistency give the Dynamo the edge Friday? This article claims it does. But, the Galaxy has nine players on its roster who have won an MLS Cup, while coaches Bruce Arena and Dave Sarachan have three MLS Cup apperances between them. And we’re not even counting the experienced likes of Eddie Lewis, Gregg Berhalter and David Beckham, who has played 115 games or so for England and been in that World Cup thingie once or twice. He’s not been in the MLS playoffs before though. So?

*And speaking of Beckham, England backs his withdrawal from its squad for a friendly this weekend because of the MLS playoffs. That’s nice of them.

* Tickets, of course, to the game Friday are still on sale.

Finally, in college action Tuesday UCSB may have ended the season of the Cal State Northridge men (10-8-2) with a 1-0 win in the Big West Tournament..

The Matadors will learn whether their season is extended at 2:30 p.m. Monday on ESPNNews to see if they earn an at-large berth into the NCAA Tournament. UCSB advances to face UC Irvine at home in the tournament finals.

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About Nick Green

South Bay-based Los Angeles News Group soccer columnist and blogger Nick Green writes at the 100 Percent Soccer blog at www.insidesocal.com/soccer and craft beer at the Beer Goggles blog at www.insidesocal.com/beer. Cheers!