2011 MLS Defender of the Year Winner to Return to Los Angeles on February 15
CARSON, Calif. (Thursday, January 5, 2012) – The LA Galaxy and German Bundesliga club 1. FC Nürnberg have reached an agreement that will allow Galaxy defender Omar Gonzalez to join the club on a short-term loan. Gonzalez’s loan spell with the club began today, with the player scheduled to return to Los Angeles on February 15, three weeks ahead of the club’s CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinals series against Toronto FC and their MLS season opener in March.
As a result of the loan, the 23-year-old center back has withdrawn from the U.S. National Team camp that will be held in Arizona and Southern California ahead of the upcoming friendlies against Venezuela and Panama.
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.
FC Nürnberg are currently in 15th place with 18 points at the halfway point of the German Bundesliga season with a 5-9-3 record. Currently on their winter break, Nürnberg will hold a training camp next week in Turkey before returning to Bundesliga action on Saturday, January 21 when they host Hertha Berlin. That will be the first of four league games that Nürnberg has scheduled during Gonzalez’s loan, which will conclude following the club’s trip to face FC Augsburg on Sunday, February 12. In between those two games, Gonzalez is also scheduled to face Hannover 96 on the road on January 27 and host the reigning Bundesliga champions, Borussia Dortmund, on February 3.
Gonzalez and the Galaxy will play their first official game of 2012 on Wednesday, March 7 when the club travels to Toronto for the first leg of their 2011/12 CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal against Toronto FC. The Galaxy will open the 2012 MLS season will three days later against Real Salt Lake on Saturday, March 10 at The Home Depot Center in MLS First Kick 2012, presented by Dick’s Sporting Goods.