Toronto FC announced the signing of national team defender Omar Gonzalez. He will join the club when the MLS transfer window re-opens on July 9th . According to Sam Stejskal of The Athletic, the deal involves Targeted Allocation Money and an insignificant transfer fee; however, Doug McIntyre of Yahoo reports that Gonzalez “became a free agent when his contract expired last month.” His new deal is reportedly for two-and-a-half years with an option. Toronto attempted to sign the 30-year-old during the last transfer window, but the negotiations fell apart.
“Omar has won numerous championships and has played on the biggest stage in world football. He is an experienced defender with over 200 appearances in MLS, including 25 playoff matches where he won five trophies in seven years,” said Toronto FC General Manager Ali Curtis in the club’s official press release. “His experience as a player but equally as important, who he is as a person will be a welcomed addition to our group here in Toronto.”
Toronto is currently in sixth place in the Eastern Conference, with 18 points from 14 matches. The former MLS Best XI selection and Defender of the Year will likely make an immediate impact at his new club, which has struggled to put together a cohesive back-line.
Gonzalez made 36 appearances across all competitions while on loan with Atlas during the 2018-2019 Liga MX season. He signed with Pachuca in 2016, after spending seven highly decorated years in MLS with the LA Galaxy; he was a member of Los Tuzos’ 2016 Clasura and 2017 CONCACAF Champions League winning sides.
Gonzalez was called into Gregg Berhalter’s 29-player United States Men’s National Team squad that will face off against Jamaica on June 5th. He was already included in the “combined preparation camp,” which was comprised of a mix of senior and U-23 players. The Dallas native has earned 49 caps, with the most recent coming in March’s 1-1 friendly draw against Chile.
Despite being a key player in the tragic loss to Trinidad and Tobago, he will likely be included in the roster for the 2019 Gold Cup. While some may have written him off, clearly several coaches believe that he has something to offer both at the club and national team level.
Is this a good move for Omar Gonzalez? Let us know in the comment section.