The Galaxy will begin the defense of their MLS title without the best defender in the league after Omar Gonzalez tore his ACL in his first training session on loan with a German club after leaving the USMNT camp.
Gonzalez collided with fellow American defender Timothy Chandler at the club’s camp in Turkey. The Galaxy said this morning that Gonzalez will return to LA this weekend.
Here’s a Google translation of the club announcement:
Serious injury in training camp: U.S. national team must return to surgery and rehab in Los Angeles.
The MRI scan at the hospital in Antalya on Friday, 6/1/12, brought the sad fact: U.S. national player Omar Gonzalez has been in training camp of the 1st FC Nuremberg, the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee torn and must return to the United States.
“This is very bitter for Omar,” said Martin Bader, Director of Public Relations and Sport first FCN against representatives of the press: “He wanted to show us what he can and we have put great hopes in him.”
Bader: “All the best!”
In a duel in the first practice with the team was the 23-year-old had been left, and stop the unit. After the sad diagnosis, the club organized the repatriation of the defender in Los Angeles.
“The important thing is that Omar is healthy and fit again. We wish him well, “Martin Bader gave him the best wishes for the journey:” In the 24 hours we have shared it as a sporty character and met interesting player. ”
Surgery and rehab in Los Angeles
In the U.S., Omar will have surgery next week by the team doctor from LA Galaxy and then complete the rehab. The first FC Nuremberg wishes you, dear Omar, all the best and a speedy recovery!
Tweeted Gonzalez about 8:20 a.m.:
Still in shock that this happened. Your support and well wishes will carry me through a strong (and hopefully quick) recovery!
Los Angeles native Herculez Gomez is pointing out on Twitter that recovery times from the injury vary considerably.
However, press box colleague Luis Bueno, also on Twitter, notes the names of two Galaxy players who suffered similar injuries last season: Leonardo and Sean Alvarado.
And we didn’t see them on the field at all after their respective injuries. Odds of Leonardo returning to LA just went up now, I’m guessing.
Lest we forget how important Gonzalez was to the Galaxy’s championship winning team, which was built on its rock solid defense, here’s what the Galaxy wrote in a press release issued at 3:08 p.m. Thursday about the young central defender heading to Germany:
The 2011 MLS Defender of the Year, Gonzalez appeared in and started 40 games for the Galaxy in all competitions last season, scoring four times from set pieces while adding two assists. He was named to the MLS All-Star First XI and MLS Best XI for the second straight season. A central figure in the Galaxy defense that tied an MLS record with 17 regular season shutouts and allowed just 38 goals in 46 games in all competitions, Gonzalez was also voted the Galaxy’s Defender of the Year for a second consecutive season.
Updated 11:30 a.m.
In response to a reader’s comment on this post I inquired about the status of Leonardo with the Galaxy.
Here’s what a club spokesman said:
“We are currently in discussions for Leonardo to return on loan again from Sao Paolo. I do not have an update on how soon he would return to the field.”