Major League Soccer ended on a high note for the LA Galaxy as they beat the Houston Dynamo this past Saturday to win the MLS Cup. The victory not only sent international star David Beckham off on a high note (it was his last game with the Galaxy and MLS), it gave Mexican-American Galaxy defender Omar Gonzalez the chance to show off his skills, which earned him this year’s MLS Cup Most Valuable Player Award.
Gonzalez earned the award for his work throughout the second half of the game including an incredible header at the 60th minute that tied the game and launched the Galaxy into a 3 – 1 win over their rivals. The goal came after a huge lob from the opposite side of the field by teammate Vitor Junior a.k.a. Juninho that seemed to float in mid-air for a second or two before being launched into the net by 6’5” Gonzalez. Can we give him an award for breaking the stereotype that Mexicans are short?
Gonzalez was born in Dallas, Texas to Mexican immigrants and is a dual citizen of the US and Mexico (no word if this allows him to play with Chivas de Guadalajara if the opportunity ever arose). He began his football career with a youth league in Dallas and continued at the Maryland Terrapins at the University of Maryland. He was named the ACC Defensive Player of the Year in 2007 and won the 2008 College Cup Championship before being drafted to the Galaxy in the first round of the 2009 MLS SuperDraft.
Gonzalez hasn’t been shy about winning awards since joining the Galaxy. To date, he’s won Rookie of the Year (2009), a spot on the Best XI of the Year (2010, 2011), the Supporter’s Shield (2010, 2011), Defender of the Year (2011), the MLS Cup (2011, 2012) and this year’s Cup MVP. All this despite the fact that he tore his ACL earlier this year while training at FC Nürnberg.
Is a World Cup win in his future as well?