clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Did Jurgen Klinsmann break Omar Gonzalez?

The Galaxy center back has been off his game lately. Has his time on the USMNT done more harm than good?

Jeff Swinger-USA TODAY Sports

Omar Gonzalez has been playing terribly lately. He was caught ball watching on two crucial goals in the past few weeks. Overall he just hasn't seemed to be his normal self. Concerned Galaxy fans are asking themselves, "What happened to Omar?"

LA Galaxy fans are not the only ones to notice Omar's serious dip in form this season. National pundits are pointing it out as well.

The Heights From Which Omar Has Fallen

Omar was named the MVP of the MLS Cup Final just a few short years ago. His play had elevated to the level that he basically became untradeable for the Galaxy. He was a star in the making.

Omar's ascent did not go unnoticed by the USMNT and Jurgen Klinsmann. He joined the team and excelled, making the final roster for the 2014 World Cup.

World Cup Injury

But the World Cup didn't go as expected for Omar. After working hard to overcome injury and join the USMNT, he found himself on the bench. This injury to his confidence would prove monumental.

After I made the roster I lost my starting spot to Geoff Cameron, which was a major blow to my confidence, and harder being alone in Brazil. So it was a really challenging time for me... - Omar in His Own Words

Omar would eventually find the field and play well in the loss to Germany. But I'm beginning to wonder, "Was the damage already done? Did Jurgen break Omar?"

Fans and clubs are usually excited when one of their players makes the international roster for their country. Increased exposure and the chance to play at a high level are generally viewed as positives for the player. But what if making the USMNT was actually detrimental for Omar's development as a player?

Jurgen Klinsmann is a polarizing figure in American socer. He is hard to read. He has a bad habit of throwing players under the bus and never taking responsibility for the results of his coaching. Maybe its a European thing, but it runs against the grain of American culture. Could the way he handles players actually be harmful to their long term development? Did the way he managed Omar Gonzalez damage him irreparably?

Did Jurgen break Omar? Has the way he has coached the USMNT been detrimental to one of our best young defenders? It's hard to know for sure if that is the case, but in the run up to the Mexico game on October 10th we owe it to ourselves as fans of the beautiful game to ask ourselves the question.

As of right now, I wouldn't change anything. The experience I had was so unique, with my confidence being gone and then finding a way to get back into the right frame of mind. I feel like I learned a lot about myself, and am proud of the whole experience. - Omar in His Own Words

Has Omar actually made it back into the right frame of mind? His play this season would seem to indicate otherwise. But, if that is the case, then what are some of the other possible reasons for Omar to be playing so poorly?

  • Playing Himself Into a Trade? Could Omar simply be done with the Galaxy and be ready for a change of scenery?
  • Upset over DP Status? Did the process of TAM, losing DP status, and bringing in Gio bruise Omar's ego? Is he upset that he is no longer one of the designated players on the league's best team?
  • Just in a Funk? Or is Omar just in a funk that he will soon get out of?

It's hard to know why Omar Gonzalez has been playing so terribly lately. One thing is for sure, he has the potential to be a tremendous talent for the Galaxy and the USMNT. We're all hoping to see him return to his previous form and dominate the back line for club and country.

I really hope Jurgen didn't break Omar.