It seems like it’s been a while since the last USMNT infighting story broke. Alas, the relative lull may have been broken.
Omar Gonzalez was with his club side, Pachuca, in Kansas City for a preseason friendly against Liga MX rivals Santos Laguna. A starter for the USMNT at the 2014 World Cup, he was one of a number of curious omissions by Jürgen Klinsmann for the squad named to compete in the Copa América Centenario.
Clearly, Gonzalez is still a little sore about it.
The former LA Galaxy defender was asked about his exclusion from the national team, given that they were kicking off against Argentina in the semifinals at roughly the same time as the Pachuca-Santos Laguna friendly. Gonzalez didn’t hold much back.
“I was very surprised. I thought I’d done enough to at least make the roster. I was very upset, but I respected Jurgen’s decision. I told him, you know, ‘Thanks for the text message, and I’m gonna worry about winning a championship.’”
Gonzalez was a regular starter for Pachuca in the 2016 Clausura season, helping his side to a second place finish in the regular season before winning the championship last month. He sounded hopeful that continued success in Liga MX will earn him another chance with the USMNT.
“I’m a starter for my team, who won a championship in a very tough league that is Liga MX. To be honest, I’ve just got to keep looking forward. … I’m sure if I continue in that fashion, they will be watching, and hopefully they can give me another opportunity.”
Pachuca and Santos Laguna played to a 1-1 draw last night. Meanwhile, the USMNT got clobbered by Argentina 4-0. It’s possible Gonzalez ended up having a better night on balance.