The defender is headed back to Major League Soccer and says talks with his USMNT teammates made the choice an easy one
Omar Gonzalez is heading back to Major League Soccer, and credits a couple of his U.S. national team teammates with helping make the decision to join Toronto FC an easy one.
The defender won MLS Cup three times with the LA Galaxy prior to his move to Pachuca in January 2016 and has been plying his trade in Mexico since then.
His move back to MLS will see him link up with one of the league’s leading clubs along with two longtime international teammates in the form of Michael Bradley and Jozy Altidore.
All three were starters on the fateful night in Trinidad that saw the USA miss out on the 2018 World Cup and they have all been consistent members of the national team since Gonzalez broke in with the side in 2010.
Now they’ll be club teammates, and Gonzalez says conversations with both the forward and the midfielder helped him come to the conclusion that joining TFC was the right call.
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“I know from speaking with Jozy in the past, how much he loves being in Toronto, loves playing for the club. That speaks volumes about a place,” the 30-year-old told reporters on a conference call.
“With Michael, we were roommates in last camp back in March. Mike was talking to me about what the possibilities could be – just us having a conversation – spoke really highly about the club, the city. It really made my decision easy.”
Those conversations weren’t the only draw for Gonzalez, who points to the team’s recent history of success as a big draw.
The 2018 season was a disappointment for TFC. Though the Canadian club did reach the final of the Concacaf Champions League, they never recovered from a poor start in the league and missed out on the playoffs.
Despite those struggles, Toronto has been a dominant force in MLS over the last half decade, reaching back-to-back MLS Cup finals and putting together a historic season to win the Supporters’ Shield and MLS Cup in 2017.
“For the past few years, I’ve been keeping a close eye on Toronto and when the opportunity arose to come back and they were first in the allocation list, it just made sense because they’re such strong team, have a streak of making it in late into the playoffs, and have aspirations of winning a Concacaf title.
“That’s everything that I want to be a part of.”